The Pulitzer Prize Center on Crisis Reporting sponsored journalist Sam Loewenberg to travel to Uganda to cover the Unclogging event. Below is an excerpt from his article, which can be found here:
Uganda's struggle with schistosomiasis
Sanitation is not just a rural problem. In Kampala, only 5% of the city has sewage coverage—mostly wealthy residential and business districts. Much of the rest of the population has to rely on pit latrines. In the crowded housing and unpaved roads of the slums, trucks cannot get access, so the latrines fill up within a few years and are then not emptied. Not only do they then become unusable, they often overflow when it rains. So residents are forced to illegally empty their latrines into open gutters.In the Kiswa Health Center, a public clinic in Kampala that serves more than 3300 patients, the effect of NTDs is overwhelming. The clinic receives about 120 cases of diarrhoeal disease a month, when it should be about ten, says a nurse who asked that her name not be used. Worm infestation is at 100 per month, about 20 times too high, since they have a deworming programme, she says. They receive about two severe cases of malnutrition a day, she says. They also had three new cases of tuberculosis in one day, and have seen two cases of multidrug resistant tuberculosis. HIV is also making a resurgence.
The wealthy sectors of Ugandan society, including corporations, need to take part in funding sanitation initiatives because local governments do not have enough funding, says Godfrey Kisekka, one of Kampala's town clerks. “We need to sensitise the rich that the health of the poor matters to them. Disease has no borders.”