Fort Portal Municipality is facing a sanitation crisis due to lack of public toilets. There is only one toilet in the municipality managed by Link Bus Company on Kahinju road.
Some of the public toilets filled up and were closed by the municipal council. The lack of public toilets has forced some people in the municipality to resort to desperate means of disposing their waste like defecating in open areas, walkways and street corridors.
In Kisenyi, one of the slums of the municipality, where there are a lot of businesses like restaurants, markets and garages, human waste is littered. Business owners are forced to move to the Link Bus private toilet which is half a kilometre away from their workplace.
Samson Musinguzi, a mechanic, says that they are finding it difficult to answer nature’s call. Musinguzi says that the only toilet in the area filled up. He says that some traders have resorted to using polythene bags, while his other colleagues simply urinate against shop walls.
Musinguzi says that the municipality should empty the toilets or construct new ones because the poor sanitation affects business since customers shun the area due to the bad stench. He also fears an outbreak of cholera.
Deborah Kemigisa, a trader says the lack of public toilets is affecting them. She says that the municipal council should show more commitment and construct more sanitary facilities because they are affordable to the users compared to private toilets which charge 200 or 300 shillings regardless of the number of times they are used.
Herbert Mugisa, the LC3 Chairperson South Division, says that there are private toilets on every building which traders can use.
Mugisa says that some of the public toilets were closed because the division lacked funds to maintain them. He also says it was very difficult to pay for water, electricity and salaries of the toilet attendants.
Margaret Kihika, the Deputy Mayor, says that the municipality lacks land where to construct public toilets. She says that the only option would be to renovate the old toilets, but only when they get adequate funds.
Fort Portal and Entebbe have over the years been ranked the two cleanest towns in Uganda.
A World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme report released in April 2012, said that that at least 3.5 million Ugandans have no latrines at all and the place of convenience is open spaces.
The report indicates that another 13.8 million Ugandans use unsanitary or shared latrines. This poor sanitation is costing the country at least 389 billion shillings annually.