In Uganda, poor waste management is considered a major national environmental problem. The challenge of waste management in urban areas is compounded by the rate of urbanization that lies between 4.5 and 5 percent per year and current urban population at 14.7 percent of the national total.
The urban areas, such as Kampala City, experience considerable waste mismanagement including uncollected waste, and poor and dangerous disposal of waste. NEMA and local authorities are unable, unless under extremely exceptional circumstances, to charge fees for crimes or acts associated with waste "mismanagement”. The exceptional circumstances include violation of environment impact assessments and public outcry about poor waste disposal. The lack of an adequate enforcement mechanism for solid waste “mismanagement” has continued to be a major concern.
This NAMA for reduction, recycling and reuse of solid waste in Kampala seeks to introduce a policy NAMA that exploits the joint responsibility of local authorities and residents or persons working in these urban areas to contribute to waste management using the 3Rs. The focus is to reduce waste generation and improve waste collection, recycling and reuse. In Kampala city waste generation is extremely high and the proposed Landfill Project in Kiteezi will at first on the waste already collected and the 40% solid waste that is collected by KCCA and supporting agencies. Indeed in Kampala several community based organisations, private companies and non-governmental organisations have been licensed to support the waste management responsibilities of KCCA.
The national strategy for solid waste management is failing because environmental management is not mainstreamed into local development plans and weak resource mobilization, due to the lack of fiscal decentralization and lack of participatory approach to the decentralization process. Waste management receives less than 10% of urban council budgets compared to other policy areas. In conclusion, for effective waste management there is need for genuine decentralization where urban councils are empowered, have capacity for resource mobilization and apply participatory planning.
The NAMA will encourage proper solid waste management through sharing of knowledge on composting processes and provision of extension support to households and other institutions. The support will include: training on waste reduction (reducing the amount of municipal solid waste produced by not creating it, through people buying only what they need) and reuse (reusing materials and packaging where possible) and recycling;(materials and packaging that cannot be reused should be recycled) by training on waste handling and how to convert waste into a marketable commodity, support for selling the commodity, maintenance of an information data base on activities for different stakeholders, and a sharing board to create transactions as well as creating a platform for recycling investors as well as solid waste management companies. The NAMA will target the 60 per cent of solid waste in Kampala that is not collected by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).