May 14, 2013

Masaka Buildings Face Closure Over Toilets

At least 80 commercial buildings in Masaka Municipality are facing closure for operating without functional sanitary facilities. The National Water and Sewerage Corporation has compiled a list of the affected buildings and handed it over to Masaka town clerk to take immediate action. Abby Sserunkuuma, the Masaka area NWSC manager says that the most of the affected buildings were disconnected from the main sewer and water line for none payment. He says some of the affected buildings are found on Elgin road, Buddu Street, Kalungu and Mawogola Street in Masaka Town and several others in Nyendo, Kyabakuza, Katwe and Kimaanya divisions.

He says their sewerage lines are often blocked when occupants of these buildings resort to using the water buckets instead of flushing their toilets. Sserunkuuma argues that closing the buildings will not only save the town from a filthy environment, but will help them recover huge sums of money in accumulated water bills. Johnson Munono Baryantuma, the Masaka Town clerk says they are fully behind the proposal to close the affected buildings because of their appalling hygiene. He says that they have given the owners of the affected building a week’s ultimatum to reconnect the buildings to the main sewer line or face closure. Balyantuma says it is illegal for commercial buildings to operate without clean water supply and sewage services.

He says that they are also fed up of a public outcry over a filthy town yet they are not directly responsible for the mess. A mini survey carried out by Redpepper Online on some of the shopping arcades in Masaka town shows that their occupants urinate in buckets and pour the urine on the tarmac, which has caused a heavy stench in the town. Andrew Mutebi, a Telephone operator on Buddu Arcade along Elgin Street has welcomed the decision to close the buildings saying landlords cheat them. Mutebi explains that they pay their rental fees which is inclusive of water bills, but to their surprise they are denied access to toilet facilities. He says that as a result, tenants who can afford access public pay toilets. Joseph Ssenyonga, the proprietor of Ssenyonga house in Nyendo says maintaining toilets facilities in a functional state is too costly as tenants vandalize them repeatedly.

Ssenyonga says he has no problem reopening the lavatories, but that will automatically force him to increase rental fees.

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