By Doreen Musingo
Health officials in Jinja have asked the district councillors to approve a proposed ordinance on water and sanitation so as to improve the health of the residents.
The former district senior health inspector, Chris Wagoleire, who designed the ordinance said it would not only benefit the district health, water and sanitation departments but the general public as well, since it touches critical issues that facilitate the improvement of health service delivery.
Wagoleire was last week speaking during a meeting to update stakeholders on the contents of the proposal. The meeting at YMCA Conference Hall was attended by district councillors, technical staff and members of non-governmental organisations.
The theme of the workshop was: “Improved sustainability through increased awareness in water and sanitation services.”
He noted that the ordinance was first tabled before the council in 2008 but it did not get the approval of the councillors. He explained that it has critical issues that include health, immunisation, water, sanitation, housing, cleanliness in slaughter houses and the registration of child and maternal mortality rates.
Wagoleire added that the ordinance also provides for penalties such as fines against those found without sanitary facilities like latrines in their homes.
He added that according to a study carried out by health workers to establish latrine coverage in the rural areas of Jinja, 30% of households and 5% of the local leaders lacked latrines.
“Imagine leaders who are meant to be exemplary lack such facilities in their homes. This law is necessary because it will compel people to live a healthy life,” he urged.
Rita Negesa Opira, a specialist in water and sanitation from the Ministry of Water and Environment, complained of the poor management of public facilities like the toilets, which she said lead to poor sanitation.
She noted that there is open defecation in the public places while facilities like borehole handles are vandalised.
“If strict bylaws are made, we shall have proper management of the facilities,” Negesa said.
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Health workers want sanitation bylaw