70 people, among them several local council officials, have been arrested in Lyantonde because they do not have toilets at their homes.
Last year the Lyantonde District Council passed several bylaws requiring all homesteads to have latrines, bathrooms and properly constructed kitchens. According to the bylaws anyone who does not comply with this requirement is liable to time in prison or a fine of 50,000 shillings.
Sentongo Katumba, the District Director for Health Services, says among those arrested for breaking the law is the LC1 chairman of Kiwumulo Parish in Kasagama sub-county, Francis Kadogo. He says the area defense secretary, Hakim Kalemera, was also arrested for not having a toilet at his home.
The number of toilets at residences, offices and schools in Lyantonde is on the decline. Katumba says only 60 percent of all areas of habitation have toilets, down from 75 percent last year. He warns that the low latrine coverage is a recipe for disaster because it could trigger an outbreak of cholera in the district.
Recently two people died of cholera in Kasagama sub-county. Katumba says the news of the cholera cases there was not a surprise because Kasagama has the lowest toilet coverage in Lyantonde. Only 30 percent of all households in Kasagama have toilets and many residents opt to use their compounds and gardens to dump their waste.
Several other residents have been charged and remanded to Lyantonde prison by Lyantonde Grade two magistrates Fortunate Kamukama for failure to comply with the set ordinances.
17 other residents including the chairman of Kiwumulo parish in Kasagama sub county Kadogo Francis have been remanded to Lyantonde prison after they failed to raise shillings 50000 to pay as fine.
Fred Nayebale, the Lyantonde LC5 chairperson, in an attempt to explain this situation, blamed it nomadic pastoralism practiced in the area. He said the pastoral families do not want to bother with digging pit latrines because they are always on the move in search of pasture for their animals.
Nayebale vowed to increase toilet coverage in his district to 90 percent by the end of the year.