Breaking

Trench Foot Disease Chasing Buvuma Boat Operators, Fishermen from Lake

Top story
Dr. Baker Kanyike, the Buvuma District Health Officer-DHO confirms that immersion foot is common among people in the district, saying they recorded about 40 people turning up for treatment for a similar condition.
Porters at Kirongo landing site carrying travellers to the boat.

Audio 3

About 20 passenger boat operators and fishermen in Buvuma district have abandoned work on Lake Victoria because of the trench foot illness alias immersion foot.  The disease, which presents with tissue results from prolonged exposure to unsanitary, cold and wet conditions leading to swelling, pain, blotchy skin, numbness and sensory disturbances in the feet.  

When one with this condition steps out of water and the foot warms up, it changes from white to red and eventually becomes dry and painful. Joseph Mubiru, the chairperson of boat operators at Kirongo landing site in Buvuma district, says about 14 men boat operators have abandoned work over the past one year after developing trench foot illness.   

He says the most affected are porters who carry passengers and their luggage to boats on a daily basis. Mubiru says six fishermen also left the place with similar conditions and is worried of their future since they have spent almost their entire life fishing.

Dr. Baker Kanyike, the Buvuma District Health Officer-DHO confirms that immersion foot is common among people in the district, saying  they recorded about 40 people turning up for treatment for a similar condition. “The situation can be hard for those who acquire such a disorder. Sometimes their foot end up rotting,” Dr. Kanyike notes.

Hakimu Namumba, one of the affected porters at Kirongo landing site, says they cannot avoid water since it is their source of survival.    

Luganda Byte        

//Cue in: “Naye obuzibu obuliwo…    

Cue out: …oba togenda malako”//   

Translation

“We work in one place as a team but if there is any possible remedy to this disease we are facing is highly welcome. We carry heavy things and once we mix it to illness the situation becomes terrible,” he said.  

Sunday Mwanje pleads with government to look at Buvuma differently while handling diseases related to water.  He says he can’t avoid working in water, which means he would fail to educate his children.

Luganda Byte 

//Cue in: “Obuzibu bwetusisinkana…

Cue out: …nebagamba edagala terinaba”// 

English translation 

“The challenge we are facing is swelling due to over staying in water and this also risks our lives to diseases such as bilharzia” 

Steven Sunday, a boat operator stresses that they need more medication to continue thriving at their work to meet their family need.     

Luganda Byte 

//Cue in: "Batuwaako naye nga...  

Cue out: ...obujajabi butono"//

Translation 

“They give us some medicine but it is not enough, the little that we are given is what we use to reduce pain” Dr. Kanyike says they always advise lake users to avoid walking in water bare footed, ensure they wear dry clean socks, clean the affected area and ensure it is dry before they seek medical attention.