If there is no latrine at the lake shore, where do people go?


“The only latrine which we were using got full and people have to defecate in the open or in the lake and that is the same water we use for domestic work,” Agaba said.


Fishermen in the district of Kasese have expressed concern over the appalling sanitation conditions at the landing sites.

The LC1 chairmen and committee members of Beach Management Units at Katwe fishing villages said last week that several people have resorted to defecating in the open since they don’t have latrines.

Led by Gilbert Agaba, the local leaders said the only latrine which used to serve the community is currently out of use since it got filled up several months ago.

 Location of Lake Katwe in western Uganda

The fishermen say that the district leadership failed to construct an improved latrine and garbage dumping facilities as a strategy to control the number of people dumping the refuse in the lake.

“The only latrine which we were using got full and people have to defecate in the open or in the lake and that is the same water we use for domestic work,” Agaba said.

Agaba said they are worried that if nothing is done, diseases like cholera and typhoid could easily break out at the landing sites.

He also said that drawing water directly from the lake could cause bilharzia, which could lead to water borne diseases.

 Saidi Bright, the headmaster of Katwe Quran Primary School while addressing the press during a joint press conference organised by Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO), a local non-government organisation operating in Kasese district, said the communities have now turned to the school latrine, which poses a big health risk to the learners.

 Some of the activities at the lake include salt mining

“Currently all the members of the fishing community share the school latrine with the pupils and we are scared that the learners could get sexually transmitted diseases because of the lifestyles at the landing site,” Bright said.

 Evelyn Kenyana a programmes officer at Rweco called for quick response from the district local government before the situation goes out of hand.

Kenyana said health authorities should declare the place a public nuisance in line with provisions of the Public Health Act, 2000.

She said 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.

She said that travellers and residents both use polyethylene bags and later dump wastes in water, yet they also use the water for home use.

 The water used for domestic consumption is also dirty

John Bosco Kananura the LC3 chairman for Katwe sub-county admitted the health concerns and said the delay to construct the toilet was due to lack of funds.

“As local leaders we are aware of the health concerns at the three landing sites in the town council, but we don’t have funds. We have only provided some funds in the budget to fence the school so that the locals do not access it,” Kananura said.

Bernadette Businge, a projects officer under the prevention of violence against children, said that pupils are in great risk of infections since people defecate in the open, yet many pupils come barefooted. She said that locals should mobilize funds and construct another toilet at the fishing landing.

Katwe town council located on Lake Edward in Kasese district has three landing sites with a population of over 3,000 people. 


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