Local leaders reported the locked and blocked toilets that have been unusable for over a year now to the Inspector General of Government, yet the municipal council appropriates money for their renovation and routine maintenance.
The Inspector-General of Government, Beti Kamya says her office will start investigations on procurement for renovations and maintenance of public toilets in Entebbe Municipality.
Kamya made the announcement while officiating at the induction for newly elected municipal and division councilors in the municipality on Thursday.
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This was after local leaders told her that the public cannot access these toilets because they are faulty and have been locked for over a year now.
Leaders led by Rebecca Nansamba, the municipal councilor representing Banga-Nakiwogo, Virus and Central 11, complained that residents and visitors cannot access public toilets at Children's Park, Mayor's Garden and the Bus Park, yet the municipal council appropriates money for their renovation and routine maintenance. "So either the toilets are locked or you pay for the ones that are open," Nansamba said.
Official statistics from the 2014 Census indicate that the municipality had a population of 79,500. But it will have 450,000 people with the annexing of Busiro South county when it becomes a city.
Nansamba says the municipality currently hosts Uganda's sole international airport, State House, several government entities, security agencies, and private institutions, and is also a residential area. Despite the municipality's being so busy an important, access to functional public toilets is a big challenge and public health issue.
Nansamba says the IG should investigate the procurement process for the renovation and maintenance for the public toilets because the technical wing has been cagey in details and the political wing finds it difficult to demand accountability. She adds, "Most times, the technocrats intimidate us so we have challenges in knowing who got the contracts and how much is said to have been spent on renovating and maintaining public toilets that we all see are usually closed."
Some of the residents support the move to investigate the procurement process regarding the public toilets, saying them being closed or dirty could result in big public health challenges such as the outbreak of cholera and typhoid among others.
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At the bus park, people pay 300 shillings to access the public toilet. But Nansamba opposes the move saying the division and municipal council pay service providers to maintain the toilets.
"This is a mockery of the taxes we pay," Nansamba says. "So the IGG should help us and look into this matter."
Meanwhile, Kamya says the engagement with Entebbe Municipality leaders has prompted her office to reach out to other local and central government units so as raise awareness among politicians and the general public on their role in identifying corruption and personalizing its cost.
She says: "It is only when you know what that money that was stolen could have done for you that you will begin to feel the actual cost of corruption. So we want people to know that they are not observers but victims of corruption."