Floods sparked off by heavy down pour have triggered massive sewage spillage and overflow in Masaka Municipality, placing the lives of hundreds of people in danger.
The most affected areas are Ssesse Corner on Elgin Street, Bright Grammar primary school, in Nyendo Township, Victory Learning center, Tropic Inn Hotel, and Soweto area.
The ugly sight of sewage gushing into the streets, corridors, backyards and compounds has become all too common to the residents.
Most of the sewage pipes in Masaka were fixed in the 1950's and are ageing, with the pressure exerted on them by the growing population.
Located in Bukoyolo village between Soweto and Ssenyange residential areas, Masaka sewage treatment center was constructed in 1950s to treat affluent of about 10,000people. The sewage treatment plant has been overwhelmed by the increased population, which stands at almost 800,000 people.
Oftentimes untreated sewage is seen flowing into Nakayiba wetland, in total defiance of the NEMA act on water discharge. The Act in part prohibits the discharge of affluent on land or into aquatic environment before treatment.
Wilson Behwera, the Masaka environment officer, wonders why the National Water and Sewerage Corporation is failing to control sewage spills.
Behwera says continued disposal of untreated sewage is affecting the micro organs in Nakayaba wetland.
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But Jackson Nimusiime, the Masaka Branch manager National Water and Sewerage Corporation, says that the spills are caused by breakages in the sewer lines. He explains that matters have been made worse by the constant road repairs.
Nimusiima says most of sewer lines were installed in 1950s and have never been replaced. He accuses Masaka Municipal council engineers, of failing to notify NWSC in case of breakages.
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There is no record to show how many illnesses are caused by sewage spills in Masaka. But Meddie Bukenya, the Masaka health inspector says an estimated 33.1% people each year suffer from infections associated with consumption of contaminated water.
Bukenya identifies typhoid and headache as the most common disease being reported in the clinics and hospitals.
The National water and Sewerage Corporation has put aside 500million shillings for the construction of another sewage treatment center at Kasijagirwa village near Masaka Hospital.
Surveyors and contractors have started already bought new sewer pipes to kick-start the construction. According to information from NWSC, the new plant, which is expected to serve capacity of about 40000 people, will be completed around July next year.