Proposal to license cesspool emptiers draws mixed reactions

Cesspool emptier truck. /Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda – Cesspool emptiers have expressed mixed reactions about the proposal to license them before they can start operations. The proposed fees are 100,000 shillings for application and 5,000 shillings for inspection of the register of license.

The proposal is contained in the draft Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Sewage and Feacal Sludge Management Ordinance, 2019. It is intended to promote sanitation and regulate operations of emptiers.

According to the draft, a person shall not provide environmental sanitation services without a valid license granted for that purpose under this particular ordinance.

The proposal further says that a person shall not be granted a license to provide environmental sanitation services unless that person is incorporated or registered as a company under the laws of Uganda to provide environmental sanitation services.

Ronald Walakira, who has been in the emptying business since 2012 says that the license is a good idea but the condition of issuing it only to companies will pose a challenge to them. His worry is that he might not afford opening and sustaining a company.

He says it should be left open such that people can operate as individuals, not companies.

Rogers Luyombya says that he disagrees with the proposals. He is concerned that he might run out of business in case his employer or boss is disinterested in registering as a company providing sanitation services.

As a condition in the draft ordinance, for one to register as a company, they need to prove ownership of equipment.

Luyombya does not own equipment and hence doesn’t meet the condition to register as a company as per this law.

He says that it would be better if KCCA just introduced permits that an individual.

Nobert Oola, one of the founders of Uganda Gulpers Association- and association that brings together Emptiers that use gulpers rather than vehicles says that majority of the Emptiers do not have the necessary equipment that they need before they register as companies.

He says many still empty toilets manually using traditional means like tins and hence do not qualify to register a company. He is worried that KCCA would have to compromise on its standards otherwise or face a challenging time to enforce the provision.

Jafar Matovu, the Chairperson of the Association of Uganda Emptiers also welcomed the proposal. He says that licensing might earn the business further recognition and streamline the industry.

The proposal is still under KCCA yet to be considered.


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