Kampala, Uganda | AFRICATEMBELEA | Uganda Civil Aviation Authority-UCAA has started refurbishing public toilets outside Entebbe International Airport. It comes days after a passenger circulated a video message on social media exposing the sorry state of the facility.
In the message, the passenger complained that the toilets were poorly lit, dirty and unsuitable for use at an international airport. The toilet facility is adjacent to the garbage house and the new public parking lot at the airport.
In response, UCAA issued a statement saying the “trending video of toilet facilities doesn’t reflect the facilities used by passengers and users of Entebbe International Airport.” The regulator explained that the facility is neither used by departing nor arriving passengers because they do not interface with the facility at any point in their travel.
“Even people with business to undertake at the airport don’t access this facility because they utilise the adequate terminal facilities,” the statement reads. The statement explained that the passenger terminal building has interior washroom facilities that commensurate with an international airport environment that are used by passengers and other users within the arrivals and departure halls among other areas.
UCAA also revealed that there is an appropriate public facility near the airport gate that can be used by the few people without business in the airport especially now that unnecessary crowding near the terminal is discouraged owing to the need for social distancing.
Nevertheless, UCAA has started refurbishing the facility in question. Our reporter visited the public toilets this on Tuesday morning and found three men working on the ladies wing. One of the workers was mixing concrete, another scrubbing the walls to remove old paint while the third man was resting.
Outside, two men were painting the gents’ side while another was cleaning the facility. Inside the ladies, there are 6 toilet units and 4 washrooms. Though the doors have been painted, the walls and toilet seats need refurbishment. However, it is hard to use the toilets in their current condition. On the gent’s side, three florescent bulbs have been fixed to improve lighting.
In the video, only one bulb was on. The gents that has 7 toilet units, 4 washrooms and one urinal, is undergoing major renovations such as plastering and floor works. In an hour, only one lady had used the facility compared to ten men at the gent’s side.
These users are either airport taxi operators or visitors. Some of these users, mostly the men, say UCAA should have refurbished the public toilets before the reopening of Entebbe Airport after the lockdown.
The workers say that the renovation works will be completed by end of the week, adding that similar works were carried out in January 2019.