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UPDF clear railway line in Mayuge ahead of Tarehe Sita


Soldiers seen cleaning part of the railway line.. PHOTO URN

Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF officers from Magamaga dedicated their entire Monday to cleaning a section of the railway line in Mayuge district as part of the Tarehe Sita (February 6) celebrations. The railway line is adjacent to a market with a capacity for 1000 vendors, 500 lockup shops, and 800 households.

Unfortunately, many of the residents indiscriminately dispose of garbage in the railway line area. Dumped waste, comprising both plastics and decomposing materials, created unsightly heaps in the Magamaga town council, impacting the quality of the recently upgraded railway line.

Sulaina Nakabuye, one of the residents highlighted the issue of people pouring waste water into the railway line, leading to unpleasant odors. She mentioned that activities such as cooking and washing contribute to the problem, with individuals disposing of dirty waste waters containing decomposing substances.

Kamdhani Mugambe, the chairperson of Magamaga Central Market, expressed concern that the foul odor from the garbage has driven away customers, prompting vendors to abandon their stalls. Many have resorted to trading along the Jinja-Iganga highway in search of customers unaffected by the railway line’s unpleasant stench.

Julius Musimbe, the chairperson of Magamaga town council, disclosed the challenge of insufficient funds for proper garbage collection and disposal. The town relies on the generosity of well-wishers, including the UPDF, school owners, and individuals who actively participate in general cleaning drives to maintain the town’s cleanliness.

Meanwhile, Maj. Erisa Tabaruha, the Magamaga cantonment administrator emphasized the importance of a mindset change within the community to appreciate the value of hygiene. He highlighted simple hygiene measures such as clearing bushes and draining water-clogged areas as essential for preventing the spread of diseases.

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Tabaruha also pointed out that the general cleaning drive during this year’s Tarehesita commemoration serves as an opportunity to educate communities on the principles of maintaining good sanitation. Tarehe Sita, also known as Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Day, is an annual celebration that commemorates the day on which the National Resistance Army (NRA), which later became the UPDF, launched its first attack against the government of Milton Obote.

The term “Tarehe Sita” is Swahili for “6th February,” signifying the date of the event. On February 6, 1981, the NRA, led by Yoweri Museveni, initiated an armed rebellion against the government of President Obote. This marked the beginning of a five-year guerrilla war that eventually led to the overthrow of the Obote regime. Yoweri Museveni assumed the presidency in January 1986.



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