March 15, 2007
Washrooms and pigs for Moroto Prison

By Jackie Nalubwama

An old rickety gate opens to a stretch of cultivated land and quarters. People dressed in yellow shirts and shorts are moving up and down the compound. Part of the septic tank collapsed and grime and sewerage is quite visible. This is Moroto Prison.

Standing in front of the new latrines is Beatrice Ileut, chief wardress Moroto Prison

Under such dreadful conditions, NUSAF answered the cries of the prison staff for the need for toilets, through the Moroto Prison VIP Latrines Project.

Christine Akoch, a wardress at the prison said the office toilets broke down, so while at work the prison staff has to go back home to use the bathroom.

Akoch described the horrendous bathroom facilities prior to the toilet Project, which included the collapsed sewerage. In a bid to salvage their poor toilet situation, the staff dug makeshift pit latrines and put up iron sheets around the holes for privacy.

But these were not of any great help because they collapsed every time it rained. “We would dig directly in the soil but our soil is soft, so the rains would destroy them,” explained Beatrice Ileut, the chief wardress at the prison.

Prior to NUSAF, above are the squalid makeshift latrines dug by the prison staff

They used to dig one pit after another, that by the time NUSAF came to their aid, they had dug 4 pits. NUSAF funded the toilet Project at Shs. 7 million and now the staff uses the 5 VIP latrines.

Ileut said, “We got to know about NUSAF, that it helps community Project management committee (CPMC). We were trained in the police barracks on how to handle money [accountability].” With the training, the prison came up with 7 members for the Project committee, of which Ileut and Akoch are part.

“We are very many people using the 5 latrines, because they serve 49 families; including children,” said Akoch. Akoch’s plan is to write another Project proposal for NUSAF because they need more toilets, “We need 2 more blocks, each with five latrines.”

Akoch and her female counterparts have more to be thankful for than latrines from NUSAF. NUSAF has also funded a women’s piggery Project called Ngulu Alokwap Piggery Project. There are 30 women in total who are the beneficiaries of this Project.

Ileut is the chairperson of this Project, enthusiastic that the Project will yield a substantial income because there is market for pork in Moroto.
“We chose pigs because in Moroto, people like pork but there are no pigs in Moroto,” said Ileut.

She explained that the local pigs are not highly demanded because they eat their owners’ waste [stool]. Akoch further said stigma for local pork also stems from the fact that some people in Karamoja do not bury their dead, so pigs being omnivorous, eat the dead as well.

“If people can sacrifice Shs. 2, 700 for a kilo of pork in Soroti, they will buy our pork at Shs. 3, 000,” argued a hopeful Akoch.