Abia Victor Lolem a very resourceful elder rich with information regarding J’Abwor lives in Koya parish. He was able to share about believes concerning latrine use in Abim and Karamoja at large.
According to the customary law of J’Abwor/ Thur, feaces & urine of the mother in-law & the one of the son-in-law shouldn’t mix in one place.
Another belief generally in Karamoja was that, pregnant women should not defecate in the latrine reason that she will drop the child in the pit as she tries to push feaces.
They also believed that whites who came with the idea of putting on clothes and defecating in the latrines were dirty they had syphilis and gonorrhea and so they cover with clothes and they leave the diseases in the latrine pretending to be going to defecate. But Idi Amin Dada introduced an order (bi-laws) which they called “bailoo” in Karamoja for wearing clothes and putting up of latrines which people adopted for a very short period of time and ended the act with the end of Amin’s regime.
Now when we were displaced during insurgencies in the North and North East, we settled in Koya, I became the first immigrant to put up the first latrine which I maintained for about five years and it collapsed and I had to construct the present one
While the rest were flooding in the school latrine and that of the health unit, the majority were defecating around their homes.
Not until when MUCOBADI in partnership with the local government of Abim district (Health Assistant, CDO, parish chief of Alerek S/C) came to sensitize the community (Bed-Atta- South among other villages)- CLTS triggering that diarrhea is easily spread amongst people through flies getting in touch with feaces and food then later people eat and the same applies to water.
Food and Shit demonstration during triggering session in Koya.
This is was what opened people’s eyes and threw the beliefs they had before and eventually started digging latrines.
Therefore I say that, “the above beliefs were all out of ignorance and laziness not poverty at all not even a curse as others feel but rather a defense mechanism to laziness”. Because if these feces & urine of a mother-in-law and that of a son-in-law were mixed up in a basin then may be the excuse would make sense but this is a pit, actually a very deep one that is just like hell, a place of dirty things where one cannot see anything anymore once thrown there.
l therefore conclude that, a child cannot just come out of the womb without the mother experiencing labour pain just like a ball kicked to make a score in the goal post. It is not true, sincerely mothers, fathers, sons, daughter-in-laws have mixed up urine and feaces, pregnant mothers have defecated in latrines several times but I have never heard that what people believed in was true unless otherwise, you may update me Jimmy in case you have ever heard of it because you are a pure Labworian which I don’t think you have heard of it. “So I will volunteer to sensitize our people to maintain the use of already existing latrines for our own good”.