Sanitation Crisis As Fort Portal Lacks Public Toilets

2091 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Fort Portal Municipality is facing a sanitation crisis due to lack of public toilets. There is only one toilet in the municipality managed by Link Bus Company on Kahinju road. According to a World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme report, at least 3.5 million Ugandans have no latrines at all and the place of convenience is open spaces. This poor sanitation is costing the country at least 389 billion shillings annually.

Fort Portal Municipality is facing a sanitation crisis due to lack of public toilets. There is only one toilet in the municipality managed by Link Bus Company on Kahinju road.
 
Some of the public toilets filled up and were closed by the municipal council. The lack of public toilets has forced some people in the municipality to resort to desperate means of disposing their waste like defecating in open areas, walkways and street corridors.
 
In Kisenyi, one of the slums of the municipality, where there are a lot of businesses like restaurants, markets and garages, human waste is littered. Business owners are forced to move to the Link Bus private toilet which is half a kilometre away from their workplace. 
 
Samson Musinguzi, a mechanic, says that they are finding it difficult to answer nature’s call. Musinguzi says that the only toilet in the area filled up.  He says that some traders have resorted to using polythene bags, while his other colleagues simply urinate against shop walls.
 
Musinguzi says that the municipality should empty the toilets or construct new ones because the poor sanitation affects business since customers shun the area due to the bad stench. He also fears an outbreak of cholera.
 
 //Cue in: “No latrine here…
Cue out: “…smell for customers.”//
 
Deborah Kemigisa, a trader says the lack of public toilets is affecting them. She says that the municipal council should show more commitment and construct more sanitary facilities because they are affordable to the users compared to private toilets which charge 200 or 300 shillings regardless of the number of times they are used.
 
Herbert Mugisa, the LC3 Chairperson South Division, says that there are private toilets on every building which traders can use. Mugisa says that some of the public toilets were closed because the division lacked funds to maintain them. He also says it was very difficult to pay for water, electricity and salaries of the toilet attendants.
 
Margaret Kihika, the Deputy Mayor, says that the municipality lacks land where to construct public toilets. She says that the only option would be to renovate the old toilets, but only when they get adequate funds.
 
Fort Portal and Entebbe have over the years been ranked the two cleanest towns in Uganda.
 
A World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme report released in April 2012, said that that at least 3.5 million Ugandans have no latrines at all and the place of convenience is open spaces. The report indicates that another 13.8 million Ugandans use unsanitary or shared latrines. This poor sanitation is costing the country at least 389 billion shillings annually.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.