LCs blamed for frustrating efforts to improve Hygiene and Sanitation in Kabale.Tobias Habasa
Authorities in Kabale District and nutrition stakeholders, have blamed lower local council leaders for frustrating their efforts to improve on hygiene and sanitation and other WASH services in the district.
The matter came up on Thursday this week, during a one-day workshop on Key WASH approaches that was organized by Community integrated Development Initiative-CIDI and Kabale District local Government. CIDI is a non-governmental organization, implementing the Right 2grow program with funding from Netherlands Embassy in support with The Hunger Project.
The Edmond Kalyemera, the senior Environmental health officer, for Kabale District, decried lack of support by community leaders, especially LCs, during community mobilization meetings, whom he accused of commercializing these meetings that are always called to trigger communities to improve on sanitation and hygiene, by telling members of community not turnup, since they can’t yield anything. He also said that some LC chairpersons also don’t have latrines.
The Kabale District Health educator, Alfred Besigensi, said that improving on sanitation and hygiene like improving latrine coverage and increasing access to clean water are their priority to reduce disease outbreak. He however said that their efforts are being let down by local leaders, who fail to enforce bylaws in communities where people lack latrines.
Bernard Ahimbisibwe, the Kasheregyenyi LC2 Chairperson in Kamuganguzi sub county also acknowledged that some LC chairpersons, frustrate community sanitation meetings by rallying members communities, not to attend meetings where they are not going to get handouts. He also said that it’s become hard for them to fight against open defecation, since most parents leave their children at home unattended to, who end up defecating anywhere.
Kalyemera noted although latrine coverage in the district stands at 76percent, the rate of latrine usage is still wanting because there are still beliefs that the children are not supposed to use latrine, which promotes open defecation.
He however said that as the health department, they launched Community led total sanitation approaches to trigger the public to fight against poor sanitation and reduce on disease prevelance. 7 villages have been triggered and two of these have been declared open defecation free.
Eveline Zalwango, the Right2grow project manager, said that today’s stakeholders’ meeting was intended to equip them with the knowledge on how to adopt behavioral change approaches like teaching the communities the importance of having latrines, food and handwashing practices as well as improving on community sensitization.