State minister for Health in-charge of General Duties Sarah Opendi has blamed poor hygiene on laziness and poor attitude.
“People are always relating poor hygiene to poverty but this is wrong. Poverty cannot make you not to have pit latrine at your home but blame it on your laziness,” Ms Opendi said.
“Does it mean when you are poor you should not bathe, have latrines in your homes or wash your hands after visiting the toilet?” she added.
The minister was officiating at the celebrations to mark Sanitation Week at Omuge Primary School in Kole District.
Statistics at the Ministry of Health indicate that latrine coverage in Kole is at 80 per cent but hand washing is as low as 26 per cent.
“People are still eating without washing their hands and this is worse with men. You find them urinating on the roadside and then they eat without washing their hands. Other men at malwa drinking joints just urinate, then they continue drinking without washing their hands and this is causing diseases associated with poor hygiene,” Ms Opendi said.
She urged those who cannot afford soap to use ash as a disinfectant after visiting the toilet.
Government spends about Shs6 billion annually on treating diseases caused by poor sanitation. According to the minister, 95,000 people in Uganda and 5 million worldwide die annually due to poor sanitation related illnesses.
The assistant commissioner for environmental health in the ministry of Health, Ms Jullian Kyomuhangi, said Kole was selected to host this year’s Sanitation Week because it excelled in sanitation.
“They even have a village called London because of its good hygiene and sanitation,” she said.