Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) community has Wednesday led an exercise to clean streets in Mbarara municipality as a way of giving back to society, ahead of the annual research symposium.
The street cleaning exercise brought together university lecturers, staff and students headed by UPDF brass band matching who swept and collected rubbish along Mbarara High street, Mbaguta Street as well as the central market premises at Independence Park.
According to the University Public Relations Officer, Dennis Lukaya, the exercise was intended to create awareness about the annual research dissemination conference which will take place at Lake View Hotel on Friday.
“The exercise that we have just had is intended to help us prepare for the annul research dissemination conference,” he said.
Dennis said the research symposium helps the university to share its annual research outputs with other universities both national and international.
“For 14 years now, Mbarara University has always held a dissemination conference for researchers, undergraduate and PhD students to be able to share the work they have done during the last 12 months,” he said.
The University Vice Chancellor, Prof Celestine Obua who was the Chief Cleaner observed that the biggest agents of littering are the affluent class of people who drive powerful cars around town.
“Often, it is us who drive powerful cars who are seen throwing these bottles out of the window. So, when you see the city street littered with empty bottles what begs my thinking is – are we cautious of the fact that we are degrading our own environment?” Prof Obua wondered.
He asked the municipality leadership to sensitize the public on the importance of cleaning the environment.
“People should be sensitized to know that living in a clean environment is important for their health. This is an activity that involves everybody.
Everybody has been made aware that it is their responsibility to keep the environment clean”.
He also encouraged the leaders in Mbarara to learn from the Rwandan model which has rid the streets of garbage.
“Aross the border in Rwanda, you will be shocked that you walk on the street and you can’t see an empty bottle or kavera” the VC said.
Prof Vincent Batwala, the Director of Research and Graduate Training urged the leadership in Mbarara municipality to always take part in such initiatives that are aimed at keeping Mbarara clean.
“They should also come out of their offices as leaders to participate in cleaning of the town. They need to gazette a day when they take part in cleaning the town,” Batwala said.
The Mbarara municipality town clerk, Edward Lwanga told SoftPower News that the municipal council is overwhelmed by the problem of garbage in Mbarara town.
He says that the few garbage trucks they had broke down and are in a poor mechanical condition.
This year’s MUST annual conference will be held under the theme ‘Innovative Multidisciplinary Research for Transformation and Sustainable Community Development’ and the Minister for Science and Innovation, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye will be chief guest.