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Kampala Markets ask for Free Water Supply to Enforce Handwashing :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Kampala Markets ask for Free Water Supply to Enforce Handwashing

Frequent handwashing is being implemented world over as a basic protective measure against the new coronavirus disease. According to the World Health Organisation, washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses and can prevent coronavirus from spreading.
29 Mar 2020 12:14
Aerial view of Nakasero market

Audio 5


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Market vendors across Kampala are requesting for free water supply from the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) to enable them to implement handwashing as one of the measures to control the spread of Coronavirus Disease. 

Frequent handwashing is being implemented world over as a basic protective measure against the new coronavirus disease. According to the World Health Organisation, washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses and can prevent coronavirus from spreading. 

But a number of markets are experiencing difficulty to sustain handwashing as a preventive measure due to the cost of water. A jerry can of water in most parts of Kampala is going for a minimum of 500 Shillings. Nakawa Market, for example, needs to spend up to 300,000 Shillings every day, on water, according to a breakdown by the Market managers.  

Kalerwe Freedom market gazetted handwashing points at every 10 meters within the market. However, Ssekatawa Godfrey, a market board member pointed out water expenses as an outstanding challenge in the execution of handwashing. He requested the Government to extend free water to markets to support the exercise.    

//Cue in; “Here in the market…

Cue out… becomes too expensive.”//       

Bismarck Ssempijja, the Director Revenue at Nakasero Market also pleaded with the government to waive all water charges to enable the public to combat the spread of COVID-19. He says Nakasero market has planned to install sanitized water taps around the market if their plea is considered.  

//Cue in; “In fact we were…   

Cue out… we may fail.”//     

Nakawa Market Chairperson Charles Okunu says that they have closed some of the open spaces to control the movement of people and gazetted handwashing points at all main entrances.   

//Cue in; “We have actually…

Cue out… an open place.”// 

Kulubya Derrick, the secretary of Wandegeya Market says that they have since decided to close five of the market entrances and allocated gazetted handwashing points at all the open ones. 

//Cue in; “We have more…    

Cue out… send them away.”//      

The PR of Usafi Market and Taxi Park, Joshua Ssekabira says KCCA has permitted Usafi market leaders to collect free water from KCCA public toilets enabling them to cut the market’s expenses to only sanitizers and jerry cans.  

//Cue in; “KCCA has got…        

Cue out...  moves on smoothly.”//       

But the National Water and Sewerage Corporation says it does not have the capacity to provide free water. In response to requests made through its platforms, National Water indicated that as a self-sustaining agency, it needs to charge for all the supply in order to be able to pay for its own power bills, pump water and procure chemicals.

"If NWSC gave free water for a month, you will not have water in the next month. We use money from the revenue generated to buy chemicals, pay for power, staff costs, fittings etc. The unserved will also suffer as they will not get any extensions from NWSC," the water agency said.

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