Foreign pilgrims from Kenya and Tanzania have taken up a task of cleaning up Namugongo, the venue of the June 3 Martyrs Day celebrations.
A day after the celebrations, the shrine was by this morning engulfed in heaps of garbage comprising of plastic bottles, papers and plastic bags (kaveera) which had initially been banned from the site.
The pilgrims under the Catholic Women and Men Associations embarked on the cleaning task in the day by collecting, sorting and placing garbage in areas where it will later be taken by trucks to several dumping sites.
Albertina Musinga, a Kenyan pilgrim from Machakos diocese, says that they felt challenged to leave the place cleaner than they found it. Musinga, who is making her fifth pilgrimage adds that cleaning Namugongo is a way of giving back to the lord for the favours and miracles they have received through the intercession of the Uganda martyrs.
She says that Namugongo shrines, as a holy place where the blood of the martyrs was shed, deserves to be maintained as a clean site.
"When you go to a place, it is good to leave it better than you found it. When we came here, we came on Wednesday, the place was not so so clean but because of that calling of cleanliness you have to show it even to where you go." said Musinga.
Monica Mutisya, another pilgrim from Kenya, says that for all what the Lord has done for her through the Uganda martyrs, cleaning their shrines isn’t even enough to offer in appreciation. Franc Anastella, a pilgrim from Tanzania says they decided to do something productive while waiting for their departure later in the day.
The shrines rector, Rev Vincent Lubega who says they normally bring in industrial cleaners to clear the mess left behind was moved by the act of the foreign pilgrims. However, Rev Lubega says it will take them 3-5 days to completely clean up the shrines.
Meanwhile, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has joined Kira Municipality Local Government to clean up the garbage left behind on several streets in the areas of Kyaliwajjala, Jjanda and Nakiyanja.