September 4, 2013

Kalangala Suspends Sanitation Operations Over Corrupt Officials

Kalangala District Council has halted an ongoing operation to enforce sanitation following allegations of corruption.

One of the landing sites in Kalangala District
One of the landing sites in Kalangala District

Early this year, Kalangala district health department embarked on an operation around landing sites to promote sanitation. Several fishermen were arrested over lack of sanitary facilities and ten landing sites closed on similar grounds.

Edward Bugimbi, the Kalangala district Health Inspector explains that he ordered the closure of the land sites because they were not fit for human habitation. He said fishermen were defecating in open places and the lake due to lack of toilets, which exposed them to waterborne diseases. However, last week fishermen from Nakatiba landing site in Bujumba Sub County and Kazibugaba landing site in Bubeke Sub County staged protests to denounce the operation. They accused Bugimbi and his team of corruption and using excessive force during their operations.

The fishermen accused Bigimbi and his team of soliciting for bribes to allow them to reopen the landing site. They threatened to lynch the officials should they dare steps a foot on their landing site. The fishermen petitioned Kalangala district council to intervene in the matter. Led by Badru Ntulume, the LC V councilor Bubeke sub county, the fishermen asked council to halt the operation. Resty Nakawungu, chairperson Kalangala Social Services Committee says they resolved to suspend the operation indefinitely to review the manner, in which it was being executed.

She also says that they have tasked Edward Bugimbi, the Kalangala District Health Inspector the mastermind of the operation to explain why the district headquarters where he sits lacks a functioning toilet. Nakawungu says the district headquarter is also surrounded by a bush. Kisitu Kiyinikibi, the councilor for People with Disabilities says it is a shame for the District Health Inspector to attempt to enforce sanitation in the community, yet they operate in a bushy area.

Kiyinikibi tasks Bugimbi to explain where the shillings 500,000 allocated for bush clearing is spent. Edward Bugimbi, the Kalangala district Health Inspector has denied the corruption allegations against his team. He faults the councilors for supporting poor sanitation yet there is a public law requiring all landing sites to have proper toilets and sanitary facilities. Bugimbi also clarifies that it is not his responsibility to clean the district headquarters saying the only money he receives is for enforcing proper sanitary practices amongst the community.

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