Kampala- A visitor to Kiruddu government hospital in Makindye Division, Kampala, is ushered by a strong stench.
The smell, which stems from the septic tank at the facility, has persisted despite calls to find a long-lasting solution to manage the overflowing sewage.
This reporter yesterday saw patients and their caretakers cover their nostrils as they walked past the overflowing sewage pouring into Salaama road drainage.
According to security personnel manning the hospital entrance, the problem has persisted for almost two years ever since patients from Mulago Hospital started receiving treatment from the facility.
Mr Nelson Obote, the hospital spokesperson, said the sewage challenge is being addressed by the Office of the Prime Minister.
“Kiruddu sewage is now being handled by OPM; it is no longer a Mulago issue because it is being handled by government at a higher level,” Mr Obote said, adding that Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has constituted a committee to address the matter.
“We had meetings with an advance team, including the executive director of the National Environment Management Authority, Dr Tom Okurut, and the Makindye division health officer, Dr Winnie Nassolo, to address the matter,” he added.
However, Dr Charles Kabugo, the acting head of the hospital, said the OPM is only playing a coordinating role.
He said there are arrangements to have a lagoon constructed by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation but the Ministry of Health is still looking for funds to acquire land from Buganda Land Board. “The Ministry of Health emptied the septic tank when [Mukono Municipality] MP Betty Nambooze was admitted here but you cannot imagine it was full in just a few days,” Dr Kabugo said.
He wondered whether a single truck acquired by the ministry will be able to contain the problem.
Mr John Ssali, a boda boda cyclist operating near the hospital entrance, said the facility should be closed until the sewage challenge is addressed.