A report by the Lugari Public Health department has revealed that 21 per cent of residents do not have pit latrines.

Speaking in Lumakanda on Wednesday, Lugari Sub-County Public Health Officer Moses Sego observed that the residents, who are compelled to relieve themselves in open fields, are vulnerable to cholera outbreaks and other infectious diseases.

Matete District is worst hit with a majority of residents in 12 villages having no latrines. The ministry has since launched a campaign to sensitise the local community on the importance of having pit latrines.

The ministry will build latrines for residents to promote hygiene and minimise the risk of cholera outbreaks.

The ministry has also launched a programme to deworm children in Lugari Constituency. So far 69,000 children in Matete had been dewormed.

Deputy Director of Public Health in Lugari Jotham Akanga said the shortage of safe clean water in Lumakanda was a source for concern.

Akanga said limited access to safe water puts residents' health at risk, especially because they can succumb to waterborne diseases when water is contaminated.

Consequently, the Public Health ministry had ordered hotels and slaughterhouses be closed indefinitely.

Deputy Commissioner Mercy Jepkemboi weighed in on the matter and said: "It is absurd that we have gone without water for over eight months".