At least 400 people, including local government leaders, have been arrested in a health operation to crack down on defecating in open places.
They were arrested in a joint operation by Napak District health department in conjuction with police in four sub-counties of Ngoleriet, Matany, Iriiri and Lorengechora.
Those arrested for open defecation include pastors, Local Council 3 chairpersons, sub-county chiefs and district councillors.
Mr Louise Ilukol, the district health inspector, said the operation is aimed at getting rid of the persisting Hepatitis E in the district, which spreads through poor hygiene and sanitation.
He said the disease, which has killed 29 people and more than 1,000 cases registered since its outbreak in the district seven month ago, has been put under control. He said there was a need for people to use pit-latrines for discharge of human waste.
The District Police Commander, Mr Frank Tumwesigye, confirmed the arrests and said the suspects had been penalised to do community work for five days. “After five days we set them free with a warning. Should we get the same people defecating in an open area, we shall take them to court and charge them with being a nuisance to the public,” he said.