MUKONO – Residents in the villages of Gobero and Kabanga in Mpatta sub-county in Mukono district have protested on Monday, July 15, as police and health workers closed their homes for not having pit latrines.
This is an operation that comes after the Health day in Buganda that took place last week when the Kabaka of Buganda Muwenda Mutebi II urged people to stay healthy and in a clean environment.
Mr. Paul Isabirya a Health Officer in Mpatta sub-county said that the operation is made to fight against people not having such facilities in their homes.
He said: “We made the operation to fight the habit of people not having pit latrines.”
“These residents are at risk of contracting diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery among others due to lack of these facilities.” He added.
The operation was carried out by various health workers and the police.
Over one hundred twenty houses were found without toilets including the Chairperson LC II’ s house, a born again church and a catholic church.
Some of the people whose homes did not have the facilities were arrested by police.
However, the exercise did not go as planned for residents started protesting, church leaders demanded the release of the arrested residents then police fired in the air to scare them.
Some of the residents wondered where they will sleep since their houses were closed.
Mr. Habibu Kalisa one of the residents said: “We were not notified in time by the sub-county officials and we are not allowing them to close our houses because we have nowhere to sleep”
Other residents blamed the lack of facilities on the cost of getting one.
Mr. Peter Kiwanuka said: “It is very expensive to dig a pit Latrine in this rocky area that it costs like 2 million just digging without the construction costs.”
As a way forward they asked their leaders at Mpatta sub-county to construct them a public pit latrine.
Mr. Kiwanuka said: “The sub-county leadership should at least construct us a public pay toilet.”
Speaking to Ms. Margret Kisakye a doctor at Kabanga Health Centre III said that most of the diseases they treat are as a result of poor sanitation.
Ms. Kisakye said: “According to the statistics we have treated 85% of the diseases caused due to poor hygiene like dysentery, fever and this is due to lack of toilets in the area”
Despite the protest, Ms. Clare Naluwu the Kabanga Parish Chief said that they won’t stop carrying out such operations until residents get latrines in their homes.
She said: “We are not going to give up on our operations because the toilet problem in Kabanga is so alarming.”
“We are going to put in more enforcement until these residents get latrines in their homes,” she added.