Hundreds of venders and their clients who carry on businesses at Kigumba town market are at the risk of contracting diseases like cholera and diarrhea since market stalls have been turned into damping sites for feces due to lack of a functional pit latrines.
This comes after the only toilet in the market which was constructed by Kigumba town council authorities got filled up two months ago and it has never been emptied since. The most affected categories of people include food sellers, produce sellers and bodaboda cyclists forcing them to look for alternative means of disposing of human wastes.
The vendors have asked Kiryandongo district woman Member of Parliament, Helen Maxi Kahunde to make advocacy on their behalf by engaging Kigumba town council authority.
Speaking to our reporter on Monday, Lucy Otiti the vice chairperson for Kigumba market vendors Association said that attempts to notify town council authorities over the matter two months ago has been futile.
Otiti added that, they were compelled to abandon the pit latrine because some people were using it much as wastes were flooding over the floor. She said that, currently, it is very hard for them to get clients when they are operating in such dirty environment which is chocking.
Another vender identified as Janet Ngamitaa explained they find feces wrapped in polythen bags and dumped on their stalls in the morning and they are forced to pay some money to owners of private toilets to dispose the human wastes.
She disclosed that each vendor pay monthly charge of shs1500 for toilet in addition to shs30, 000 as license but they have not seen realized value for money.
Juma Sabiti a fish monger who operates next to the filled up toilet said that he is always disturbed by the bad stenches and the flies which comes out of the toilet and land on his fish. He adds that as vendors, they also have challenge of dust that contaminates their food saying that when wind blows it sweeps dust into their merchandise.
Farouk Tumusiime, the area LC III chairperson said that they do not have an emptier adding that they have to hire it from Kampala and wondered why the latrine had not yet been opened yet they hired the machine two weeks ago to do the job.
On the other hand, MP.Helen Max Kahunde gave Kigumba town council authorities only one week to ensure that the pit latrine is emptied.