ADJUMANI, UGANDA: Adjumani district leaders have arrested more than seven errant Village Health Team-VHTs members and Local Council I chairpersons for not having latrines, hand washing and other sanitary facilities in their homes.
The two-day exercise which kicked off on Wednesday by the district Social Services Committee in Pakele sub county is meant to deal with families that continuously ignored constructing essential sanitary facilities in their homes.
The district leaders particularly targeted the LCs and VHTs for not sensitizing and supervising homesteads on the need to have functional sanitary facilities in their areas. Among those arrested was Akello Margaret, the VHT of Gonyila village who was detained for some hours because in her village, the team discovered that out of 84 households, only 50 had latrines.
Akello was made to report to the sub county for a meeting and later on told to go to the police for having low latrine coverage contrary to the district’s fight against open defecation. Benson Tamale, the Secretary for Defense Gonyila village was also apprehended by the committee for not having a latrine.
Dominic Amoko, the VHT for Okawa village in Pakele sub county was also detained for 6 hours for low latrine coverage in his area where it was found that out of 790 households with 1,429 people, only 332 households had latrines.
Buni Alex, the local council one chairperson Gonyila village, in Pakele sub county was also arrested and detained at Pakele sub county police post for over four hours for not having a latrine before he was released on bond due to medical conditions.
Meanwhile, in Ofua sub county, the Local Council One chairman of Opio village, James Madigo and his VHT Anthony Rubankena were also arrested for not having pit latrines at their homes.
John Sabuni, the district councilor for Arinyapi sub county, and also secretary for health who spearheaded the operations indicated that the district is dropping in latrine coverage due to the laxity of the local leaders. He explains that the exercise is also aimed at disciplining the village leaders so that they can improve on sanitation in their homes and villages.
Godfrey Manga Illemai, the Assistant District Health Officer in charge of Environmental Health revealed that latrine coverage in the district has dropped by 4-percent, adding that out of 210 villages, only 162 of them have enough latrines.
Robert Dramwi, the LC III chairperson Ofua sub county welcomed the operation saying he will mobilize people to ensure that they have latrines and other sanitary facilities in their homesteads.
Records indicate that Adjumani district currently has a latrine coverage of 77-per cent indicating that open defecation is still a common practice in several homesteads.