By Fred Kiva
Collapsible soils in the Lake Albert shoreline remain a challenge to improved latrine coverage, as the area struggles with a deadly cholera outbreak.
About 35people have so far died, while more than 1,000 others are hospitalized following the outbreak in the areas of Sebigoro and Kaiso in Kabwoya and Buseruka Sub counties in Hoima district.
Geoffrey Komakeck, the Hoima District Councilor representing Buseruka Sub County in Hoima district council says although efforts have been stepped up towards improved hygiene and sanitation in the Lake Albert shoreline, fragile soils are hampering pit-latrine construction.
“The soils here cannot support latrine construction, so we appeal to development partners to support us with public toilets,” Komakech said.
Because of lack of latrine facilities, many families in the Lake Albert shoreline ease themselves in the bush or in the waters, yet the same Lake water is used for drinking and home consumption. This ill-health environment is to blame for the persistent cholera outbreak in the area.
The area has always experienced a cholera outbreak almost every rainy season.
This latest outbreak was registered on February 11, 2018. Health officials say the disease could have spread from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, as residents fled into Uganda following a tribal conflict in the Eastern part of the country.
Hoima District Health Officer, Dr. Joseph Ruyonga recently blamed the disease easy spread on uncontrolled mix up between the Congolese refugees and the host communities.
"Our biggest challenge is that when these Congolese come, some are accommodated by their relatives within the landing sites. This affects monitoring and treatment," he said.