Traders at Kagunga market in Ikumba sub-county have been left without toilet facilities after they were barred from using a council toilet built on private land. The toilet had been built as an emergency measure on Valeriano Muheirweâ€™s land.
Valeriano Muheirwe, a resident who had volunteered to give land to the sub-county, says that he decided to close the facility after it was misused by the traders.
John Bosco Tumwesigye, the Ikumba sub county local council three chairperson, confirms that they had built the toilet on the land. He was surprised to learn that Muheirwe had turned around and chased the traders from using the toilet under what he termed as unclear circumstances.
Now the traders are up in arms demanding that the authorities come up with a solution quickly. Some of the traders URN spoke to claim that they were being charged exorbitantly use private toilets in the residences near the market.
Moses Byarugaba, a trader at Kagunga market, says that although the authorities are very quick when it comes to the collection of market dues, they do not respond as fast when the traders have a request like building a toilet for them.
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Judith Ayebazibwe sells sweet potatoes in the market. She says that the despite paying taxes, they have not received any services from the authorities.
She says that in addition to failing to provide a place of convenience, the traders do not have modern stalls and display their goods on the ground.
The market, which operates on daily basis and is busiest on Thursdays, is the biggest in Ikumba sub-county and attracts traders from different sub-counties of Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu.
Ikumba sub county chief Gordon Manzi reveals to URN that his predecessors had gone ahead to build a facility in an individual’s land without a memorandum of understanding with the owner .
He says that the sub county authorities are planning to identify a piece of land and start work on building a public toilet to remedy the situation.
In the meantime, they will look for a resident who will give them a facility to be used by the traders at a subsidized price.