Kawempe landlords snatch away public toilets

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National Water and Sewerage Corporation and the Kawempe resident city commissioner, have directed the Kawempe division local government to establish village sanitation committees to monitor sanitation in the area.

During a joint inspection tour last Friday between officials from National Water and Sewerage corporation and area councilors to assess the impact of the public toilets that were built in the area to curtail cholera outbreaks in the area, the officials found that majority of the toilets which were built on private land have taken over by landlords on whose land they were constructed claiming that the communities have failed to maintain them.

“Since the President made the pledge during presidential campaigns, the toilets were delivered and now the residents want the president to buy them toilet paper and the water to clean the toilets also,”

Deborah Mercy Nabukenya the Kawempe resident city commissioner said. She explained that the village sanitation committees are responsible for explaining to the residents their responsibilities to ensure a clean and safe environment for them because their sanitation and hygiene is their responsibility.

“How do you expect government to start buying you toilet paper and cleaning for you toilets even after delivering them to you freely? These committees are there to determine how the toilet will be run and managed,” she said.

Until recent improvements in the water drainage in Kawempe division, the area used to be a hotbed for outbreak of cholera and other waterborne diseases during the onset of the rain season. This was mainly because majority of the area stood on a wetland with a low water table which cannot support construction of pit latrines.

According to Dr. Silver Mugisha the NWSC managing director, they constructed waterborne toilets for the area because they are the most suitable ones but little did they know that the communities would also ask for free water to maintain them.

“We are working on reducing water tariffs from Shs.37 per twenty liters to Shs.25 because it is a presidential directive and we are waiting for the Ministry of water and environment to sanction the directive,” he said on Friday.

Most of the newly constructed toilets which were visited on Friday, stood out magnificently with dry water tanks and cobwebs under key and lock showing that they were not being utilized.

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