Kitgum Prison Borehole Contaminated With Fecal Waste

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In short
Epilla says he was compelled to ask the district health department to have water from the two sources analyzed for impurities after 80 prisoners suddenly fell sick of typhoid after the first case was detected in April 04th, 2012.

More than 300 inmates in Kitgum government Prison have been barred from using water from the only two boreholes serving the facility and neighbouring communities.
 
Patrick Epilla, the Officer in Charge of the facility issued the ban after water samples drawn from the boreholes were found to be highly contaminated. He says the high alkaline contamination arises from numerous latrines sunk around the boreholes.
 
//Cue in “The borehole …….
Cue out “……then bathing”//
 
Epilla says he was compelled to ask the district health department to have water from the two sources analyzed for impurities after 80 prisoners suddenly fell sick of typhoid after the first case was detected in April 04th,  2012.
 
He says results of the analysis of the samples released recently showed a high PH concentration in both sources. The prison now relies on rain water piped water from National Sewerage Corporation as communities continue to drink from the contaminated sources.
 
//cue in “It is being……
Cue out “……and test”//
 
The district health department has declined to comment on the matter. But World Health Organization says Typhoid affects at least 17 million people around the world every year.
 
WHO says typhoid fever is a bacterial disease spread through contact with food or water contaminated by fecal matter or sewage with victims exhibiting sustained high fevers and when left untreated, mortality rates can reach 20%.
 
Suzan Lalam, a community member drawing her drinking water from the borehole at the prisons urged the district health department to educate the public on whether the water source is safe or not. She said she will boil all her drinking water before consumption.

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.