By Michael Atwakiire
Sheema:Kabwohe market traders and residents living nearby are facing a severe health risk because of the sewage and stench that fills their area.
Sources in the area reveal that the market has no toilets and urinals,so both traders and customers urinate and defecate all over the place. Others ease themselves in polythene bags which they dump in all corners of the market. This daily market which is found in the heart of Sheema municipality, has spent almost five years without either toilets or urinals. However, it is alleged that it is used by an average of 300 people daily, plus almost 50 people who operate eateries there. Jamil Ndyabahika, the Vice Chairman of the market, said that “ The only problem of the market is poor sanitation. Due to lack of toilets and urinals in and near the market, this has forced many traders to ease themselves anywhere.”
He added that “However some old people who feel ashamed ease themselves in polythene bags and later dump them behind the eateries or in streams flowing through the market.” Ndyabahika however warns that this has put many traders at risk of contracting diseases like cholera, diarrhea, ebola and others that result from poor sanitation. Justus Areebahoona, charcoal and firewood trader in the same market told us that he spends between Shs500 and Shs1000 daily at the nearest toilet whenever he wants to ease himself. He blamed the municipality council for the laziness they have already revealed.
One of the Matooke traders told us that ever since their toilet was destroyed by municipality officials five years ago, they have been surviving on God’s grace and mercy but that it’s like government officials neglected them. We tried talking to Kabwohe division town clerk Dennis Mubangizi, who told us that Kabwohe market has well improved and built toilets and that those who say that toilets aren’t there are lying. When this reporter asked to go with him to the market such that he could show him the toilets, he hanged up the phone and didn’t answer subsequent calls.