As Lake Albert continues bursting its shoreline, residents of Wanseko landing site in Kigwera Sub-county, Buliisa District are skeptical about their good health.
The swelling lake water has submerged both public and private toilets in the area leaving some residents opting for bushes – hundreds of metres away from the shore, according to Mr Anthony Azoora, a business man at the landing site.
But this is for adults. Children as young as five cannot walk that long distance alone when nature calls. It also becomes impossible for one to walk the distance when nature calls at night.
The long distance now coerces children to ease themselves anywhere there is a patch of dry land around the clustered homesteads characterised by mainly grass-thatched huts before the lake overflows, washes away and absorbs the waste into the water that residents use for drinking.
“We are fearing that cholera may break out here because of the water contaminated with human faecal matter. After the water submerged the houses, some residents sought refuge in school and church buildings while others live under trees,” says Mr Azoora.
“Sanitary facilities at the two institutions are not enough for the population there foreseeing danger in the near future if the floods continue and people continue exerting pressure on the toilets. Due to being submerged, toilets are emitting a strong stench making people uncomfortable,” he adds.
Such a scenario, according to Mr Azoora, is a threat to their lifves since those who have land in Upper Buliisa that includes Biiso and Kihungya sub-counties which are above the escarpment cannot travel back home following the movement restrictions government imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Buliisa District Health Educator, Mr Robert Mugabe, advises the residents to “always boil the water prior to drinking it and also avoid eating cold foods to minimise risks of catching cholera”.