Convicts in Pader district have been forced to dig pit latrines for the residents in the districts.
Digging pit latrines is part of the punishment given to the prisoners under the community service. The convicts will be expected to dig a pit latrine in every home.
Community service was adopted by the Uganda Prisons Service in 2005,
as an alternative justice program. It requires convicted individuals to perform charitable services either entirely or partly in lieu of judicial remedies or penalties.
The philosophy behind community service is at least partially that providing services that benefit society is a more constructive way to punish perpetrators.
Asirit Benedict, the district Community service coordinator, says that if successful, this initiative will help improve pity latrine coverage in the district. Latrine coverage in Pader district stands at only 6%.
He is optimistic that community service will push up the latrine coverage in the district
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A recent research conducted by the district authorities showed that several people in Pader shunned digging pit latrines because of the costs involved.
Under the new arrangement, the people will be required to submit their requests for pit latrines to the community service department, so that a convict can be assigned to dig the pit latrines.
Asirit says the district has 27 convicts on community service who have already started sinking pit latrines for locals. He says after the task of sinking of the latrines is done with, the district will shift focus on tree planting for locals who will be willing to have trees planted on their land.