By: Ismael Kasooha


The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah has challenged leaders at all levels to highlight the importance of hygiene and sanitation in enhancing human development and social well-being of the people.

Nabbanja made the remarks on Friday while presiding over the National commemorations of the world Sanitation week held at Kakumiro District headquarters.

Marked under the theme Sanitation and hygiene for all, a key to sustainable healthy living”, Nabbanja said that, ” if we all embraced it, we would be agents of change in our respective communities.  We shall be able to change the mindsets of our people. This re-sounds the critical role that sanitation and hygiene plays, not only as a prerequisite to health but also healthcare service utilization, school attendance and productivity”

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah takes to the stage to dance with a pupil from Kakumiro Public Primary School during the sanitation week commemorations in Kakumiro District

Nabbanja said that leaders needed to play a great role in the mind-set change of the people to improve their livelihoods.

“As we commemorate the National Sanitation Week, let us reflect on the progress we have made and the challenges that lie ahead. Cognizant of the critical role of sanitation and hygiene in the health and wellbeing of its citizens, the Government of Uganda together with its partners have made significant strides in improving the status across the country. However, access to basic sanitation is still low at 36%, with hand washing at 35.8% in rural areas and 53.8% for urban,” noted Nabbanja.

She expressed concern that Kakumiro District was also not doing well with basic sanitation being at 23% and hand washing coverage at 50%. In schools, the pupil’s stance ratio was reported to be 1:58, hand washing at 49% while menstrual hygiene management was at 68%. In regard to healthcare facilities, safe water coverage was reported to be at 60.9%, with only 4.3% having access to basic sanitation, 30.4% have access to basic hand hygiene while healthcare waste management stood at 43.5%.

“This underscores the urgency of our collective action to address the sanitation and hygiene challenges and ensure that every Ugandan can live with dignity,” said Nabbanja.

The Premier said that His Excellency the President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had provided exemplary Leadership to the country for the last 38 years and he was still able!

Nabbanja said that the Government of Uganda had instituted a number of interventions aimed at ensuring healthy and productive populations. Among the prioritized interventions was the establishment and sustaining of strong community structures and systems that address their own social determinants of health (clean safe water, good sanitation and hand hygiene, good nutrition etc.).

The Premier wondered why some parts of the country were still embroiled in poor sanitation and hygiene.  “Ladies and gentlemen, what don’t we have? The brains and expertise! The tools- that inform Policies and frameworks! Stewardship! The peaceful and enabling environment ushered in by the NRM!  It is unacceptable that we continue to lose approximately 23,000 Ugandans annually, directly attributed to inadequate water, poor sanitation and unhygienic practices,” she noted.

She added that “Under my Leadership as Prime Minister and Leader of Government business, I will support and strengthen coordination for improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) service delivery through the existing frameworks. This will enable harmonization, avoid duplication and ensure rational use of the available resources.”

She continued to say that the Government of Uganda had also embarked on a heightened advocacy and public awareness creation drive intended to facilitate mindset change. This would help instill a sense of ownership among the citizens to be responsible for their own social determinants of health (clean safe water, good sanitation and hand hygiene, good nutrition among others.

Additionally, Nabbanja said that the Office of the Prime Minister would lead the National Cleaning Day’s initiative, a community-driven intervention for disease prevention which seeks to empower communities to recognize their primary role in maintaining their own health through actively promoting a clean and healthy environment.

“I will engage the Government to prioritize sanitation and hygiene in the national planning and budgeting under the National Development Plan (NDP) IV. This will steer efforts towards raising the sanitation and hygiene profile for disease prevention and health promotion,” she said.

Nabbanja implored all Development Partners and Civil Society Organizations to continue integrating sanitation and hygiene in their programs and activities arguing that this would help supplement Government efforts of ensuring a healthy and productive population.

“I also commit total support as a Champion and I call upon leaders at all levels to be exemplary if we are to change the current narrative of the country in sanitation and hygiene. I also urge parents to empower our children to become champions of sanitation and hygiene as we raise the next generation,” she said.

The Government of Uganda remains committed to ensuring increasing household incomes and improved quality of lives for all Ugandan citizens.

The Minister of State for Health in charge Primary Health Care Margaret Muhanga expressed concern over laxity by the public to embrace good hygiene and sanitation practices.

The State Minister for Transport Fred Byamukama lauded the government for extending services to the people of Kakumiro and the country in general.

Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health said that development and good health were synonymous.

Nabbanja earlier on in the day launched the construction of an 11bn piped water project that will serve four sub counties and over 84 villages.

The launch took place at Kikwaya Local Council I where the Premier assured the people that the NRM government was committed to serve them.

Nabbanja thanked H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of Uganda for retaining her as the Premier and promised to serve even more diligently.