March 15, 2007
The toilet phenomenon comes to Nakapiripirit

By Jackie Nalubwama

In Karamoja, there is a belief held by some that when you pour ash on your stool, you will run mad. Bearing in mind such beliefs, NUSAF is trying to demystify them by introducing the eko-loo at the district water and education offices, in the hope that it will spread all over town.

Michael Onono, assistant engineer who helped construct the eko-san toilet.

Michael Onono, the engineer assistant attached to the water department in Nakapiripirit Disctrict explained more about the eko-loo. Built about a metre from the ground, this toilet has 2 holes, one for urine and the other for stool.

After using the toilet, one is supposed to pour ash down the hole, to desiccate the wastes, according to Onono. “The toilets don’t smell because the stool is dry and there are no flies,’ said Onono.

The happy district water officer, Richard Olok said, “It is the first of its kind in the district.” He went on to say, “We have the loo as a demonstration, but we plan to have at least 2 per sub-county in the 3 busiest of the 9 sub-counties of Nakapiripirit.” The 3 chosen sub-counties are: Amudat, Nabilatuk and Namalu.

To Olok, they will start with the sub-counties because they are busy and the population is high, so sanitation is quite poor. In addition, Olok said these sub-counties can afford to maintain the toilets.

Interestingly, when these toilets get filled, the doors that open the lower chamber, where stool is deposited, are covered for 6 months; after which the stool is poured out because then it is not stool but manure.

However, Onono said the people are yet to be sensitised about using that manure and expects that there will be some resistance from the populace on using stool-formed manure.

NUSAF has taken the extra step and introduced the eko-loo in a region not very well-known for being conversant with bathroom facilities. Probably as time moves along, the stool-filled grass of this town will get some relief as the populace takes to building eko-loos.