Taxi Operators, Traders Protest Filthy Bus Park

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In short
Robert Otim Ojwina, the chairperson Lango Regional Vehicle Owners and Drivers Association says garbage has been building up in Lira main Bus Park since the cleaners laid down their tools two weeks ago.

Lira main Bus Park is choking with garbage following a sit down strike by cleaners over their pay. More than 32 cleaners of Ojwina Division in Lira Municipality laid down their tools two weeks ago protesting none payment of their salaries since July 2014.
 
In October last year, the same workers laid down their tools on similar grounds. Helen Akullu, one of the affected cleaners says they resorted to a sit down strike following the failure by the authorities to listen to their pleas to clear their salary arrears.

 
50-year-old Doreen Ajok, a mother of six says all she wants is her money and she quits the job. Ajok claims that all her children have dropped out of school because she is unable to pay their tuition fees.

 
The strike by the cleaners has seen heaps of garbage building up in several areas in Lira Municipality. Robert Otim Ojwina, the chairperson Lango Regional Vehicle Owners and Drivers Association says garbage has been building up in Lira main Bus Park since the cleaners laid down their tools two weeks ago.

 
On Tuesday, transport operators and traders in Lira main Bus Park staged a demonstration and filled up Oyam and Aputi roads with rotten garbage they removed from the Bus Park.  They accused the Municipality of negligence.
 

Grace Okello who operates a restaurant has threatened to boycott the payment of daily dues unless the garbage is removed. Okello says she has registered a huge reduction in the number of people visiting her restaurant for meals because of the stench from the garbage.
 
 
Emmanuel Ebong Opeto, Ojwina Division LCIII chairperson blames Lira Municipality for the late remittance of funds from Central Government and local revenue collection. He says the Division uses the 50 percent remittance from the Municipality from local revenue to pay salaries and dues of its employees including the cleaners.

Daniel Christopher Kaweesi, the Town Clerk Lira Municipality dismisses the claims by Ebong says they have been making timely remittances to the division. Kaweesi also says they have provided the division with all the necessary tools to collect and dispose of the garbage. 

Ojwina Division is responsible for collecting and disposing garbage at Aler recycling center in Ngetta Sub County.

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.