Kasese municipality is at high risk of a cholera outbreak following the recent floods that hit the district. On Wednesday, River Nyamwamba burst its banks and flooded several areas in Kasese Municipality and its neighborhood. The floods displaced several people after their houses were washed away. At Nyakasanga, the largest suburb in the municipality, all the latrines were washed away by the floods, causing a heavy stench in the town.
This has left more than 200 households in the municipality without latrines. Residents now deposit human waste in polythene bags and dump it in the flowing water, despite the fact that there are several eating places and shops a few meters away. The only latrine at the Nyakasanga playground was also washed away by the floods.
A few meters away, is a small stream where residents fetch water for domestic use. Geoffrey Mugume, a businessman says that he has been forced to temporarily close his business because of the bad stench. He wants the district to intervene avert a possible outbreak of cholera.
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Faith Kabugho, a resident of Nyakasanga says that when she needs to answer the call of nature she is forced to walk for 2 kilometres to the municipal council latrines. According to Kabugho due to shortage of water in Kasese Municipality, people have resorted to drinking water contaminated human waste. Ericana Bwambale, the Kasese district health inspector also expressed fear of an outbreak of cholera. He says that the district is not prepared to handle the epidemic in case of an outbreak.
He says the health department has requested for mobile toilets from the Uganda Red Cross. Bwambale also states that a District Health Rapid Response Taskforce will next week be formed to sensitize the residents about proper hygiene and sanitation. According to Bwambale, the sale of cooked food and juices in flood hit areas has also been temporarily banned. In the past there have been several epidemic outbreaks such as Cholera that has led to deaths in Kasese.
Last year, one person died and at least 100 cases were treated at Bwera Hospital.