Only 24 percent of the residents of Bunyangabu district wash their hands after visiting the toilet, a survey by the District Health Officer, Richard Obeti has revealed.
According to the 2014 population census, Bunyangabu district has 170,000 people but the number is expected to have increased to 200, 000, which means only 48,000 residents wash hands after visiting the toilet.
Obeti says the figure is alarming, adding that they have embarked on a campaign aimed at promoting hygiene at the household level by encouraging residents to wash their hands.
However, some of the residents say they don’t wash their hands due to lack of clean water. Sarah Kobusinge, a resident of Kabonero Sub County says most families depend on water from shallow unprotected wells while a few others get it from boreholes, which are located in distant areas.
Keneth Mujuni, a mechanic says they heard about the hand washing campaign on radio but have never seen anyone implementing it, saying that they expected to see health educators teaching them how hand washing facilities are used.
He urges government to increase accessibility to clean safe water in all communities before campaigning for hand washing. Nathan Mugabe, the Bunyangabu District Water engineer, says water coverage stands at 73 percent, which he says is still low.
He blames their failure to drill several boreholes on the low water table, which requires a special vehicle to sink boreholes but they are constrained by funds.
James Mugarama, the Bunyangabu District LC V chairperson, says they have already allocated Shillings 50 million to improve sanitation by educating people on what to do via talk shows and other interventions.
He also says that they will use the same money to work on Katebwa sub county water project that is aimed at extending water closer to people.
Recently, while celebrating the World Hand Washing Day, the State Minister for Water Resources, Ronald Kibuule, said hand washing coverage in the country is generally still low at 36 percent for rural areas and 39 for urban areas.