Readers are perhaps still pondering the mysterious deaths of two juveniles who had been detained at Nyangatare prison. Speculation is rife that the two, Samuel Ndayizeye and another who has only been identified as Habimana, died of food poisoning.
Whatever the cause of their untimely deaths, a topic that is brought to the fore by this tragic event is - hygiene. Given reports that the same supplier of food for Nyangatare prison, also supplies Butare and Kigali prisons, with no reported cases of inmates falling ill in the other two, then there must be a logical explanation, unique to Nyangatare for this tragedy.
The gravity of the suffering of the hospitalized thirteen others who are said to be having; respiratory difficulties, constipation, bleeding and eye problems, should be a source of much worry, amongst all interested parties. Be it the prison officials, food suppliers and the line ministry.
Without pre-empting the National University of Rwanda (NUR) lab results which will confirm the exact status of the food – be it expired or just contaminated, one would like to believe the affected prison, might also have its own unique problems to do with proper hygiene. Further investigations into the deaths and illnesses might reveal more in this direction.
However, more worrisome is that the above report is followed by another equally damning one on school sanitation.
Again alarm is raised that the condition most schools in Kigali City are in is for lack of a better word totally deplorable.
Students are exposed to poor sanitation, sleep in unhealthy conditions, enduring bed-bugs as a never ending nightmare.
Vice-Mayor for Kigali in charge of Social Affairs, Jeanne d’ Arc Gakuba, has raised the alarm on the poor conditions most schools are in.
After the prison deaths, one prays for more vigilance in all public places such as schools, hospitals and hotels in the areas of good hygiene and sanitation.