"We have set up an inter-ministerial committee chaired by myself that will review the situation and then embark on replacing all those roofs."
People living in government houses roofed with asbestos can now breathe a sigh of relief as government moves to replace.
Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda yesterday assured Parliament that Government will soon have all those roofs replaced.
"We have set up an inter-ministerial committee chaired by myself that will review the situation and then embark on replacing all those roofs.
The Committee will sit next week," Rugunda said. He was yesterday reacting to MP Emmanuel Ongiertho ( Jonam County) about the recent threats by Kyambogo staff reportedly threatening to sue government in case they get cancer as a result of staying in asbestos roofs.
Ongiertho noted that most government institutional buildings such as schools, barracks, hospitals, hospital quotas are roofed with asbestos sheets.
"Recently in a committee staff of Kyambogo said they will sue government if they get cancer as a result of staying in such a house. What plans does government have to replace these roofs?" he asked.
Most Government institutions which were constructed between the 1950s and 1960s have asbestos roofs and efforts by the Ministry of Health calling on the authorities to change the roofs, have often fallen on deaf ears.
In many barracks, police and army officers are housed in asbestos-roofed houses, although they are condemned by the International Labour Organisatio (ILO) convention 162, 1986, which provides for the replacement of asbestos or certain types of asbestos or products containing asbestos with other materials or products evaluated as less harmful.
According to experts, materials containing asbestos are hazardous to humans and pose a public health risk.
They say all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans - meaning that they can cause different cancers which include among others cancers of the ovary, lung, mesothelioma and cancer of the larynx.
This is in addition to breathing complications and respiratory tract infections.