Zengebe Landing Site Declared Nuisance over Poor Hygiene

2820 Views Nakasongola, Uganda

In short
Health authorities have now declared the place a public nuisance in line with provisions of the Public health Act, 2000. Under the act, any dwelling, public building, trade premises, workshop or factory not provided with sufficient and sanitary latrines is listed under entities that constitute a nuisance.

Zengebe Landing Site in Nakasongola district is at a risk of closure over lack of sanitary facilities, a development that is putting at risk, lives of travellers and residents in the area.  

The area is the docking site of MV Kyoga; a Ferry commissioned two years ago.to ease transport around districts on Lake Kyoga It connects Nakasongola to Amolatar, Dokolo, Lira and Soroti districts.  About 300 connect to the various districts through Zengebe landing site on a daily basis.

However, URN has established that the site, managed by the Uganda National Roads authority –UNRA has operated without toilet facilities since its inauguration in 2012.

Health authorities have now declared the place a public nuisance in line with provisions of the Public health Act, 2000. Under the act, any dwelling, public building, trade premises, workshop or factory not provided with sufficient and sanitary latrines is listed under entities that constitute a nuisance.

Joint notice 001/NDLG/2014 issued by Nakasongola Health Inspector Moses Zziwa and Environment Officer James Bond Kunobere to explains that the absence of  a public toilet has encouraged defecation in all open spaces around the site by travellers. This has resulted into excessive air and water pollution and a fear of an outbreak of diseases associated to poor sanitation.

As result, the officials issued a 28-day ultimatum to UNRA to construct the toilet. The notice expires on Wednesday 17th September after which the facility will be closed.

Jamirah Nakiyimba, the Lwampanga sub county councilor for Zengebe and Kikoyiro parishes explains that travellers and residents both use polyethylene bags and later dump wastes in water which they also use for home use.

John Baptist Lubega, the Ferry Master admitted the health concerns and says that the delay to construct the toilet was due to a land dispute at the site.

Lubega explains that they are waiting for the government chief valuer to establish the amount of money worth investing in the land and the construction of a modern toilet and other facilities. He however hopes that they may build the toilet as matter of emergency as other government procedures are followed.

According to a study carried out by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) released in 2012, Poor sanitation costs Uganda up to US$177 (Ugx 389 billion). The report also indicates that Ugx 13.8 million use unhygienic or shared latrines, while another 3.2 million have no latrine at all.

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.