An impoverished community in Moroto
Municipality has beaten all odds to construct their own pit latrine after the
Municipal authorities locked their houses late last year due to lack of latrine
The authorities also fined the
landlords and tenants without latrines Shillings 50, 000 and gave them a three
month’s deadline to put in place the facilities in an effort to stop open
defecation in town, listed for elevation to a city status in the next three
However, the slum dwellers of
Labor Line Cell in Kampswahili Ward in South Division instead decided to
construct public latrines to serve an estimated 1,160 residents free of charge.
Through the leadership of the village chairperson, Joseph
Achilla Teko residents decided to dig two community pit latrines in order to
avoid fines from Municipal Council and threats of litigation.
labor, cash, tools and materials in kind to facilitate the construction work,
which continued for about eight months.
With barely any financial resources, the
community can finally use the facility that was officially handed over to the
public on Monday by the village LC 1 Chairperson witnessed by the Town Clerk,
Isiah Tumwegiye and other local leaders
Santa Napeyok, a resident told URN that she hopes sanitation
standards will improve following completion of the latrines.
//Cue in: I thank …
Cue out: … throw anyhow. //
Napeyok says for long, they have been exposed to diseases
like cholera due to poor sanitation in the slum.
“Some of my neighbors
have been throwing feaces, or urine staffed in kaveras, sometimes sanitary pads around our compound and sincerely
we could not even sit outside. We had to stay indoors to avoid and the smelly
and dirty environment. I think the situation will change a lot,” she added.
Mark Ochol Maraka, another resident said it was relief
because it was very hard for them to answer nature’s call during day time.
//Cue in: Always some of us …
Cue out: … just from here.”//
Before completion of the two stance pit- latrine, the nearest
public toilet was at the bus park, about 1 kilometer away.
Users have to part
with Shillings 300 to access the facility yet most can’t afford it. Moroto Town
Clerk, Isiah Tumwegiye lauded the community for working together towards a
//Cue in: Really, this area …
Cue out: safeguard ourselves.”//
Pit latrine coverage in Moroto Municipality stands at 19%
while for Moroto district is about 24% according to Tumwesigye.
Teko noted that the completion of the pit latrine has come at the right time
because they are battling a Cholera outbreak in the district.