It’s hard to say this but it’s the truth. Kampala is under the attack of cholera. Again. So far, over 300 cases have been reported. A number have died. There is an emergency station in the parking lot at Mulago Hospital, Uganda’s premier referral hospital.
It’s a shame because the circumstances through which one gets this disease are embarrassing; it’s got through ingestion of human waste.
Now it’s not like Ugandans have developed a taste for the stuff, no. It’s the floods that we’ve had since the beginning of November.
Many of the latrines in some parts of the city, especially the north of Kampala are rudimentary. Peeps be doing their bizness just out in the open or in shacks disguised as toilets.
When the rains came, they washed all the shit that’s been lying around into drinking water sources. The good habit of eating fresh fruits has also become dangerous because in many cases, people have been brought in because they ate some mango which they washed with water infested with the bacteria.
The rains usually come with the grasshopper season and the places where the insects have been devoured most have also recorded big numbers of cholera cases. Peeps be eating these things while they are still raw, it seems.
It was just a matter of time.
So why are people still dying of cholera? Why do people still die of preventable diseases in this continent of ours? Cholera, malaria and all these things. Instead of getting ourselves and our kin out of poverty, we are fighting diseases that we shouldn’t be.
In Kampala, those who have airtime to call the radio stations and ask what topic is being discussed have been saying that the cause of the flooding is the Northern by-Pass that’s being constructed in Kampala.
People seem to have very short memories. Every year, the areas of Bwaise have been flooding every time it rains. In fact, back in school, it was a running joke that to live in Bwaise, one needs to invest in a boat.
But that’s beside the point. What I want to know is why these people stay in that area year in year out knowing what’s coming at them at the end of the year. I sure wouldn’t want to have only bleak memories of Christmas. Coz surely, by Christmas time, they have lost a lot.