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Two Mentally Ill Women Pitch Camp At Gulu City Council Hall

The two have piled dirty and stinking rags, empty boxes, sacks, plastic materials including source pans on the veranda of the City Hall. They have turned the veranda into a place for cooking food.
31 Oct 2021 15:33
One of the mental disorderly women lodging at the Gulu City Council Hall veranda. Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 3

Two mentally unsound elderly women have caused uneasiness among civil servants of Gulu City after pitching camp at the veranda of the City Council Hall.

The two have piled dirty and stinking rags, empty boxes, sacks, plastic materials including source pans on the veranda of the City Hall. They have turned the veranda into a place for cooking food.

While top city authorities have not paid keen attention to the new visitors, several concerned workers have raised alarm against the unregulated presence of the women saying they threaten the security of the people at the premises.

“Imagine, you can be absent at work and it’s swiftly noticed by the supervisors, but the two mentally ill women have been here since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and nobody is bothered,” one staff who preferred anonymity told URN.

Caroline Alarokoma, a concerned youth in Gulu City says that the women are not only causing discomfort to the workers but scare away visitors who come from outside Gulu.

//Cue in: “I feel it is really...

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  Walter Tootika, another concerned resident of Pece-Laroo Division observes that Chief Administrative Officer – CAO should intervene and seek the intervention of the Gulu Mental Health Department to evacuate the intruders.

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Gulu District Secretary of Health and Community Based Services Ballingtone Olweny P’Ongwech acknowledged that the trespass by the mentally ill persons at their premises is a potential security threat to fire perils.

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Apart from the two, there are several people with mental health problems who are wandering on the streets of Gulu.

Mental health disorder in the Acholi sub-region is largely attributed to the two-decade-long civil war between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government.

Despite numerous attempts by Non-Governmental Organizations - NGOs to rebuild the region, mental illness continues to ravage the post-conflict population, coupled with domestic violence and poverty among others.

World Health Organization - WHO report of 2017 indicates that mental health in Uganda is spiked by neurological and substance use disorders which are a major public health burden. Depression, anxiety disorders, and elevated stress levels are the most common, sometimes leading to suicide attempts.