- Ozua Cell is one of the areas categorized as a slum by the municipal council authorities
- The Cell does not have proper drainage channels, the houses are congested without proper housing facilities, the toilets are mainly made of mud and wattle
- It was discovered that there was disposal of fecal matter, wastes from the kitchen and filled up drainage channels
By Our Reporter
Arua- A journey in the corridors of the households in Ozua Cell leaves one to regret why he/she has to move in the areas where fecal matter is disposed with impunity.
Some of the households do not have proper drainage channels and have filled up latrines. Many of them are makeshift latrines that is now filled up and maggots keep on oozing from them.
With the looming rainy season at hand, there is fear that the people in the Cell may contract Cholera that had been wiped out in the area five years ago. The cell had been having annual outbreak of cholera and dysentery diseases.
But there has been little improvement in the hygiene and sanitation. Recently, as a mop up campaign, the local council authorities demolished some of the latrines that are filled up. They met some resistance from the locals who say they could not afford to construct latrines because they only tenants.
The Land owners do not provide alternative land to construct latrines because they fear increasing rent for the tenants because some of the houses are unfit for habitation.
The locals were still using the already filled up toilets creating a potential outbreak of cholera that had been wiped out in the division in the past five years.
Part of the drainage that is filled up with wastes.
The Lc1 Executive member, Adebo Steven, said: “Our people here like dumping feaces in open places which leaves the place to stink. We recently demolished some of the toilets that were filled up and improper bathing shelter. But I wonder why some people should be resistant when we want to save their lives. We need a clean Cell where people are healthy.”
He added that some of the homes do not have rubbish pit and they resort to dumping the polythene bags in the drainage that ends up blocking the water flow.
“The drainage lines are fully filled with rubbish and the worse one is that they disconnect the pipes from the septic tanks and release the feaces that is the flown to River Enyau. Our fear is that Cholera will be eminent when rain returns. The toilets need to be broken down.”
As part of the control measures, the division authorities arrested eleven people who released fecal matter from septic tank to flow in River Enyau. Hundreds of locals depend on water from River Enyau for their domestic use, and contaminating it with fecal matter, endangers their lives.
But when the division authorities broke down the toilets, some of the women decided to confront them saying that they were comfortable in staying in the filthy places because they cannot afford to rent expensive houses.
One of the resilient women who declined to be named, said: “Who are you the LCs to come and break down our toilets because we collect this garbage and throw them at night. Is it you people bringing the cholera? I cannot afford to rent better houses with the good toilets you are talking about. I will stay here in this area with all the garbage that you are seeing.”
One of the locals in Ozua Cell, Ms Salama Atako, said: “We want a clean place but only that some of the neighbors here enjoy living in filthy places. You cannot eat food outside because of the smell that comes from the drainage and filled up latrines. I am planning to leave this area because I rented house here because of poverty.”