Residents were told to construct and use pit latrines in order to benefit from the treatment plant
PIC: Officials during the launch of the feacal waste treatment plant in Kitgum district recently. (Credit: Agnes Kyotalengerire)
KITGUM- Residents of Kitgum municipal council have been warned against open defecation as it puts them at risk of poor sanitation and hygiene diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid and cholera.
“Stop crude damping of feacal waste in the open so that we remain healthy and free of diseases,” Walter Tooroma, Kitgum municipal council mayor said.
He made the remarks during the commissioning of the fecal waste treatment plant and closure of the EU project in Lamit village recently.
Tooroma urged residents to construct and use pit latrines in order to benefit from the treatment plant.
He also called upon cesspool emptier within and outside the district to support the project by taking the feacal waste to the plant and generate revenue to the municipality.
The march began at 9:00am on Friday
The treatment plant worth sh700million was a donation to the district from Amref Health Africa Uganda with funding from European Union and Amref Netherlands.
Dr. Patrick Kagurusi the programmes manager Amref Health Africa Uganda said the facility will benefit residents of Kitgum municipal council but also the surrounding districts such as Pader, Agago and Lamwo.
Dr. Kagurusi urged the management; leadership of the district to put it to good use so as to attract other people to put in resources and replicate it elsewhere.
Additionally, Eng. John Seryazi the advisor to the European Union delegation said the beneficiary community should ensure the facility is operated and maintained.
“It will be disheartening if the donors come to visit and find the facility in a bad shape,” Seryazi cautioned.
According to the Home Improvement Campaign report, latrine coverage in Kitgum district is as low as 50%, which is below the national figure.
In Uganda, about 80% of the disease burden is sanitation-related and yet up to 20% of Ugandans defecate in the open, according to Ministry of Water and Environment Sector Performance report 2017.
The launch of the fecal sludge treatment plant kicked off at 9:00am from Kitgum municipal yard. It was led by a brass band played by pupils of St. Mauris Primary School in Gulu district.
Participants who included staff from European Union, Amref staff, Kampala Capital City Authority as well as health ministry officials marched through Thua road to Lamit kein north.
The community could not contain their excitement about the achievement. Some women with babies strapped on their backs ululated as they marched.
However, marching under the scotching sun in a distance of close to seven kilometres left participants exhausted. After refreshing with cold water, they gained momentum and marched the remaining two kilometres to the plant.