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Adjumani District LCs, VHTs Arrested for Not Having Latrines

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 Committees 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 where 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 free. 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 have 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.

Cue in; ………… John Sabuni

Godfrey Manga Illemai, the Assistant District Health Officer in charge of Environmental Health Adjumani 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.

Cue in; ……….. Manga Illemai

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.

Cue in; ……………. Robert Dramwi

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.

Artisan Miners in Busia Living in Fear over Eviction

Artisan gold miners in Busia district are living in fear of being evicted following the construction of a gold refinery.

The Chinese investor is constructing a USD 200 refinery covering 300 acres of land in the four villages of Alupe, Agoriat, Akipenet, Amagoro in Mawero parish, Buteba sub-county.

Completion of the refinery is expected in 2025 and will produce 1,000 kilograms of gold.

The concerns were raised in the meeting held at Tiira Miracle centre on Thursday to sensitize artisan miners to form groups and get mining licenses.

Charles Olowo, Christin Adeke, and Wilfred Ngobi among other artisan miners in Tiira Town Council said that they are living in fear following information that the investors have plans to displace most of them in the area.

This has left most of them struggling to acquire mining licenses. The artisans also appealed to the government to centralize the legalization of miners by putting geological offices at the district level.

Cue in: ……………..Victims

Geoffrey Kwamboyi, the chairman Tiira small scale minor’s association says that they have formed a network to protect them against the investors who may force them out of their place of work.

Geoffrey Kamese, the program manager of Uganda National Association of Coalition for Health-UNACOH says that they are sensitizing artisan miners to form groups and create one network.

Cue in: …………… Geoffrey Kamese

But Samuel Barasa, the Communications Manager Wagagai Gold Mining Company denied the allegations by the artisan miners.

Barasa appealed to the small scale miners to get legalized so that they co-exist with the investors.

Cue in: …………….. Barasa

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