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Plight caused by lack of toilets at Busana landing site ends

By Nelson Kiva

Added 25th September 2019 05:30 PM

The residents did not have a single toilet, resorting to open defecation on the shores and in the lake.

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One of newly constructed toilets at Busana landing site. Photo by Nelson Kiva

The residents did not have a single toilet, resorting to open defecation on the shores and in the lake.

SANITATION     

KAMPALA - The likelihood of 6,700 residents of Busana landing site along Lake Victoria in Buikwe suffering deadly disease outbreak two months back was inevitable. 

The residents did not have a single toilet, resorting to open defecation on the shores and in the lake.

This followed the filling up of all the six toilets that served the community.

However, following a story published by the New Vision in July about the plight of the residents, the intervention by the authorities was robust.  They now have three new toilets and the old ones have been emptied.

“We want to thank the New Vision, after the story about lack of toilets at Busana landing site which was published in the New Vision website.  The district political and health leaders of Buikwe rushed here to assess the problem immediately. Even officials from Iceland Embassy came here,” James Paul Wefafa, a resident who heads the landing site sanitation committee said.

Wefafa said the three toilets constructed by Iceland in conjunction with Busoga Trust were hastily completed and opened up to the public. “Even the others which had been filled up, were emptied and people are now using them,” he said.

According to Busana village chairperson, Timothy Ssentongo, on the landing site, it is very complicated for individuals to sink latrine pits because of the rock underground. It is possible for those people who are well off.

It is only three families with latrines and to avoid the public from invading them, they are enclosed.

Baddu Busijjo, one of the residents appealed for the provision of dustbins to ensure a clean environment.

Lydia Nakawoma, 29, said the issue of lack of toilets had affected their Mukene business with their customers reluctant to buy suspecting it being contaminated by human waste.

Dr.Adam Kimala, a member of St. John Council who visited the area with a team of medics from St. John’s  Ambulance and Christ the King health centre to offer residents free medical treatment said the government should implement special health programmes on the landing sites.

He says because they have many people, they face a lot of health challenges which must be addressed through affirmative health programmes.

“Government should ensure that all the nearby health centers are upgraded to health center IIIs and IVs and deploy qualified personnel, ensure the availability of drugs and medical equipment. Preventive measures such as health education must be pulled on,” Kimala said.

Julius Paul Muzale, a clinician at Christ the King health centre, coordinating a health programme called “Mwana na Maama” in collaboration with St. John Ambulance, confirmed that diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, malaria, Typhoid and Bilharzia remained a big challenge on the landing site.

The World Bank in 2012 indicated that Uganda loses about sh389b every year to treat poor sanitation-related diseases. The disease burden is a major setback to development in developing countries.

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