Parliament Ratifies Water And Sanitation Bill With Amendments

Hon. Agness Mebo Lox, Chair Committee of Health, HIV/AIDS, Social Development, Gender, Youth and Sports. [Peter Lokale Nakimangole]

The Committee last week presented its findings and recommendations demanding the house to add its inputs upon which considers endorsing it for consequent implementation by public health officers.

However, after depth examinations and deliberation filtered out some of the recommendations including proposals to fine those bathing and defecating river Kineti.

 The recommendations include residents to wash hands with soap and media awareness to start while the county authorities must identify dumping sites for garbage and dig holes for it.

Two garbage trucks will be allocated to the town council for garbage collection and one of the trucks should will be garbage compressor.

It is recommended that every household must have a latrine and bathing place and residents should use water guards and chlorine tablets or boiling water before drinking.

Dead animals should be buried or burnt and anyone seen throwing dead animals in water must be punished and the county to identify a site for all car washers to avoid pollution of water in the river.

Agness Mebo Lox presented the bill and said she was very impressed with the House for passing with a few amendments.

She revealed that a taskforce committee headed by Hon. George Echom Ekeno Minister of Environment, Tourism and Wildlife will be supervising the implementation.
 
Apart from the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Wildlife, she said that the implementing committee will include Torit County Commissioner, Ministry of Culture and Social Development, Minister of Health, and Minister of Housing and Public Utilities.
 
The committee as agreed by both executive and legislature is charged to supervise the implementation of the law.
 
Less than half of the population have access to improved sources of drinking water, and unprotected wells are still the most important source of water across the town.

 Kineti, the only River in town, is a source all pollution from garbage disposal, human excreta, children faeces disposal which all find their way into it with or without rains.

 The committee’s report attributed this to the lack of proper sanitation facilities due to improper planning of the town which part of it has no latrines and drainage systems for managing proper dumping of domestic waste.

 The report says the dumping of garbage has been seen even in the market places which has deteriorated and can cause major factor leading to waterborne diseases due to decaying matter like human excrement, animal waste.
 
 The Committee’s recommends that the County Health and Department of Public Health in the State Ministry of Health in collaboration with State Ministries of Environment, and Housing and Public Utilities should take drastic steps by removing and reallocating motor garages to specific central area, advisably industrial area while restaurants and shops to be built in proper concrete manner and should have clean environment for easy supervision.
  
 Lack of latrines in most of households has encouraged the citizens to defecate everywhere especially at and along river bank of Kineti river, at the side of roads and within residential areas. It has been noted that every household has cases of typhoid and other waterborne diseases every time.

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