Management of solid waste at Makerere University main campus
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The problem of Solid Waste Management (SWM) is as old as the human race. Traditionally, SWM was the responsibility of urban councils as part of effective public service delivery. Before Uganda’s independence in 1962, the responsibility of SWM was entirely a communal responsibility. After independence, complex series of SWM were introduced which resulted into inventions aimed at successful management of solid waste. Some of these methods included among others: recycling and re-use, resource recovery and process, closed and sanitary landfills, inventory of some of the existing solid waste facilities, education and training, transfer and transport among others which were legally under the Public Health Act (1964), Local Government Act (1997), and the National Environmental Act (1995) to mention but a few for the effective service delivery in urban areas.. This study sought to assess the effectiveness of the Solid Waste Management Strategies (SWMS) at Makerere University. The overall objective of this study was to assess the waste management practices at Makerere University with specific objectives being; (i) To identify the different types of solid waste at MAK Main campus and (ii) To identify the management practices in solid waste at MAK Campus. The methodology for data collection Key informants that included people at national level; Kampala Environment Officer, Health and Environment Department heads in Kawempe Division affiliated to MAK Campus; Local council (LCs) people were interviewed. A total of 150 questionnaires were administered in MAK Campus users. They were aimed at collecting data on the general situation of the households, housing characteristics, level of sanitation (solid waste, excreta, water supply and drainage). The collected raw data from the questionnaires were cleaned, coded, entered using EPI Info then analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) that generated mainly uni-variate data. The qualitative data from Key Informant Interviews were manually analyzed based on the objectives of the research. The more prevalent wastes generated in MAK Campus are; Plastics, Kitchen waste, Paper, Old clothes, Metals, Glass, and Polythene bags. Results from the study show that 43% of the households visited generate mainly paper, kitchen wastes, and plastics. 23% generate plastics and kitchen waste, 19%, paper and kitchen waste and the rest generate all the waste (kitchen wastes, metal, glass, paper and plastics). Each of the wastes meet different fates; plastic is mostly bagged and taken away, kitchen waste is either given as animal feed or burnt, paper is mostly burnt while metals and glass are thrown to dumps or pit latrines. There is almost no form of segregation in MAK Campus since 77% of the households do not segregate their waste. Solid waste is commonly stored in sacks and bins (51%), while the rest of the people use broken jerry cans, polythene bags and the minority (13%) heaps it in their compounds. The problem faced with the kind of storage facilities is that they fill up too fast (in less than a day) and yet the solid waste collection is not regular on the campus. The people rely on other means of disposing off their solid waste. It was further interesting to note that 24% of the respondents had ever been educated about solid waste management, of these, 54% by KCC, 30% from school and the rest from the media. In conclusion, there is no solid waste segregation being conducted on the campus. The results however showed that the people are willing to do it if educated and showed the importance. At the moment, solid waste generation supersedes its collection. There is great potential of reuse of solid waste on the campus. The SWM at Makerere University is inadequate and needs development. The SW needs to be segregated and disposed of to reduce environmental impact. Various processing systems need to be adopted for a different type of waste. Plastic, metal and glass waste have the scope of recycling. Organic waste being the largest contributor of the SW generated at campus, has the scope of decomposing within the campus itself.