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Over 13,000 Residents of Alebtong Still Practicing Open Defecation :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Over 13,000 Residents of Alebtong Still Practicing Open Defecation

The survey data highlights that out of the total population, 80,257 individuals have limited or shared toilet facilities, 122,391 have access to improved toilets, and 31,816 have basic toilet facilities. Additionally, 275,739 households have handwashing facilities, whereas 4,873 have handwashing facilities without soap, and 6,019 have both handwashing facilities with soap.
A toilet facility at a home in Alebtong district (Photo by Immaculate Amony)

Audio 6

A recent survey conducted by SNV, a non-profit international development organization, revealed that 13,472 residents in Alebtong District are practicing open defecation, despite the Ministry of Health declaring the area open-defecation-free in 2019. The district, with a total population of approximately 300 thousand people, is currently facing a sanitation crisis.

The survey data highlights that out of the total population, 80,257 individuals have limited or shared toilet facilities, 122,391 have access to improved toilets, and 31,816 have basic toilet facilities. Additionally, 275,739 households have handwashing facilities, whereas 4,873 have handwashing facilities without soap, and 6,019 have both handwashing facilities with soap.

During the belated World Toilet Day celebration held at Alebtong Primary School, David Kennedy Odongo, the District Chairperson, acknowledged the report and stressed the importance of every household having proper sanitary facilities like pit latrines and handwashing spots.

//Cue in: “I want to…  

Cue out… for our people.”//  

Odongo made five pronouncements, including a month's ultimatum for all leaders – political, religious, local council, or at the district level – to install both latrines/toilets and approved handwashing facilities at their homes, leading by example.

//Cue in: “By 31st December,  

Cue out: … all the schools.”//     

Another pronouncement entailed the formation of a by-law against open defecation by all ten sub-counties and four Town Councils, which will be presented to the district council for approval in January 2024.

Brenda Angom, an Environmental Health Officer from the Ministry of Water and Environment-Lira office, emphasized the ministry's efforts to promote good hygiene and sanitation. She urged all stakeholders to collaborate in addressing the district's sanitation challenges.

//Cue in: “We have to…

Cue out: … a healthy life.”//

Jillian Akullo, the Alebtong Resident District Commissioner (RDC), expressed concern about the statistics and urged residents around learning institutions to have their own sanitary facilities if they cannot access them at schools.

//Cue in: “The toilets we…

Cue out: …we have it.”//   

Tony Ogwal, the chairperson LC III of Alebtong Town Council, disclosed the formation of sanitation committees in each ward and cell to improve latrine coverage. He also mentioned a fine of Shs200,000 for any household without a latrine. Luo bite:

//Cue in: “Wan o’ forming …

Cue out: …wa bed acid.”//   

Pupils from Alebtong Primary School delivered a short poem, urging everyone to ensure proper disposal of human waste and ensure that every institution and household has a latrine.  

Voxpop on the toilet;

//Cue in: “Proper disposal of…

Cue out: … inside the houses.”//  

On World Toilet Day, the district leadership handed over construction sites for pit latrines at five different schools as part of efforts to improve sanitation. The United Nations designated November 19 as World Toilet Day to prioritize global sanitation for all and break taboos around toilets.

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