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Lack of access to clean water affecting pupils' performance

December 15, 2018 3:33 pm

By Catherine Ageno

The lack of access to safe, clean water has been cited as one of the factors that continue to affect learners’ performance in schools in many parts of the country.

Preliminary findings of a new study by Twaweza Uganda carried out in the Western district of Mitooma indicates that children in many households miss school due to illnesses resulting from consumption of unsafe water.

An earlier Sauti wa Wanachi report by Twaweza, anon-governmental organisation, that was released in 2017 shows that only 24 per cent of Ugandans have access to piped water, either direct to their household, via a neighbour or from a communal standpipe or kiosk. The report also adds that 78 per cent households harvest rainwater as an option but less than 1 per cent uses it as their main source of drinking water.

One of the affected homes in Katooma village, Kanshenshero subcounty Mitooma district, is that of a one Mr. Felix Bimanywarunga and Ms Jovia Kyomuhendo. Their four children are only able to attend school for half or less the period of the entire school term.

“My children are always sick. If it is not diarrhea, its stomach pain and this keeps them out of school”, she says. A quick survey around the home reveals that there is no water or soap for hand washing after using the latrine.

Ms Kyomundo says that without money to get the basic items including food, soap is considered a luxury that can easily be foregone.

“Even when I get a piece of soap, I cannot waste it on hand washing. I would rather use it for washing clothes, dishes or bathing”, Kyomuhendo adds.

8-year old Owen Musinguzi, a primary one pupil at Katoma primary school has been the most affected, having attended a few weeks of the 3rd school term.

The Local Council 1 chairperson Katooma village, Mr.Fred Kahangire says discolored water from the spring wells is used for both cooking and drinking, causing various illnesses resulting from consumption of unsafe water.

He says efforts to get help from government on the matter have so far been futile as the work plans sent to the sub-county for improved water sources are yet to be approved by the district water and education authorities.

However, according to the Ministry of Education and Sports Guidelines for three star approach for implementation of WASH in schools, no permanent improvement of the school environment can be expected until the school children and their teachers begin to take an active interest in keeping the school premises clean. This, the education officials say will help Uganda achieve Sustainable Development Goals.                                                                                                                       SDG 6 aims for universal access to ‘safely managed’ water and sanitation for everyone everywhere. This means safe drinking water at home, work and in public places, available whenever needed. And a private toilet, where faecal waste is safely disposed of, with soap and water for hand washing.

While SDG4 to ‘ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning’ includes a target for building and improving school facilities that are accessible to all, including decent toilets and clean, safe water.

Mr. Kahangire says living without the human right to a basic toilet puts children’s health and safety at risk, and holds them back from reaching their potential.

He adds that it therefore is not surprising that children without decent toilets and access to clean safe water at home and school will struggle to complete their education. Children repeatedly suffering from diarrhea regularly miss school, causing them to fall behind in class.


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Nearly 30 million babies are born premature

December 14, 2018 12:00 pm

By Ssebuliba Samuel.

A new report released by world health organization and UNICEF has showed that nearly 30 million babies are born premature.

According the UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi, millions premature are dying every year because they simply do not receive the quality.

The report dubbed Survive and Thrive show that that among the newborn babies most at risk of death and disability are those with complications from prematurity.

However the report show that the financial and psychological toll on their families can have detrimental effects on their cognitive, linguistic and emotional development.

In 2017, 2.5 million newborns died, mostly from preventable causes,almost two-thirds of babies who die were born premature.

The report shows that 68 per cent of newborn deaths could be averted by 2030 with simple fixes such as exclusive breastfeeding; skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the baby, medicines and essential equipment; and access to clean, well-equipped health facilities

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Kyambogo graduation ends today

December 14, 2018 10:00 am

By Damali Mukhaye.

The Kyambogo University is slated to graduate the last batch of students at the main campus in Nakawa division Kampala district.

The graduation which started on Wednesday ends today with students from faculty of education, science and engineering slated to graduate.

The vice chancellor of the university Prof Eli Katunguka says that the transcripts and certificates for students are ready and students can start picking them starting next week.

He however says that only those who have cleared their dues with the university are the only ones who will receive their papers.

The three days celebration has seen the university graduate over 8,000 students from various disciplines.

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KCCA ED Jennipher Musisi leaves office today

December 14, 2018 9:00 am

By Damali Mukhaye.

The Kampala capital city authority executive director Jennipher Musisi leaves her office today following her resignation notice.

Musisi wrote to president Museveni informing him about her resignation effective today, December 15th.

Musisi in her resignation letter cited lack of political support and low funding among other reasons as the major factors that led to her resignation.

She also informed journalist’s earlier that she has achieved a number of things in the city ranging from infrastructure, healthy, education among others asserting that the authority will thrive even when she departs.

Meanwhile president Museveni has not yet announced the new person to replace Musisi.

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M7 accused of diverting from the IPOD summit agenda

December 14, 2018 8:30 am

By Ritah Kemigisa.

The opposition has accused President Yoweri Museveni of diverting from the agenda of the inter-party organization for Dialogue summit that was held on Wednesday.

The Democratic Party’s legal advisor Richard Lumu says the president in his speech diverted from the four objectives of the summit and instead chose to intimidate the opposition by giving an assurance that he is not about to retire.

The summit had a core objective of strengthening multi party governance in Uganda and also consolidating the constitution and electoral reforms.

Lumu says much as he made it to the summit, more engagements inform of dialogue are still needed to make him believe it is time for him to retire.

During the summit, Museveni said he is open and willing to talk in any dialogue when given the opportunity.

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MP Betty Nambooze case pushed to March 2019

December 13, 2018 2:15 pm

By Ruth Anderah.

The incitement to violance case against Mukono Municipality member of parliament Betty NamboozeBakireke has been adjourned by Nakawa magistrates court until March 7th 2019.

The case has been adjourned by a grade one magistrate Noah Sajjabi and ordered prosecution to produce witnesses on that day.

Nambooze who was in Court, is alleged to have inciting members of the  public to commit  offenses against Government officials.

According to prosecution,  Nambooze on the June 9th 2018 through utterings and writings in the media, she  incited the public to attack and murder public figures whenever guarded they could be since government could not secure them.

Namboze was summoned by police  to explain her words just after a few days when assailants had attacked and gunned down  the former Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga near  his home at  Mattuga.

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