Nineteen heads of families have been arrested in a swoop to clampdown on people without sanitation and hygiene facilities in their homes at Kyakamese Village in Kyakamese Parish, Pakanyi Sub-county in Masindi District.
The operation conducted by the Parish Health Assistant, Justine Mbwali, backed by the police followed reports from Village Health Team (VHT) members and concerned residents that a big number of families in the area did not have latrines, bathing shelters, trash dumps and dish drying racks.
During the crackdown, 14 male heads of families and five women whose husbands were away from home were arrested and detained for some hours at Pakanyi police post before they were later released after paying fines of varied amounts of money depending on the gravity of their sanitation offences in addition to committing themselves to have the physical structures in place in a month’s time.
However, one prominent person whose identity was concealed from the press fled and escaped arrest after he was found having been using a pit latrine without a superstructure.
Ms Mbwali told this website that last week’s operation followed similar ones conducted in other villages in the parish where several heads of families were apprehended including the village chairperson who was found without a latrine at his home.
The chairperson’s arrest was a tip off by whistleblowers in the village who asked his moral authority of leading people yet he fell short of being exemplary after failing to have sanitary facilities at his home.
“The operation shall be extended to other areas and I advise heads of families who do not have sanitation facilities to put them in place before they are arrested. Even those who were arrested and released are warned to do the needful because failure to do so will attract court action,” the health assistant warned.
The Masindi District Health Inspector, Martin Drabo expressed concern over some family heads’ failure to have sanitation facilities in their homes despite having been sensitised for a long time about the dangers of living in an insanitary environment.