Uganda: 500 Residents Share One Borehole

Luweero — More than 500 people in Katagwe Parish, Kamira Sub- county, Luweero District, spend about six hours queuing at one borehole to get water while hundreds of others share an abandoned dam with animals.

"Mothers are failing to engage in any productive work because they spend it lining up at the borehole," Mr Ponsiano Katumba, the Katagwe chairperson, said during a village meeting at the weekend.

"Sometimes we have to escort our wives at night to line up at the borehole where they spend more than six hours before returning home. Many residents have resorted to using dirty water shared with animals," he added.

Mr Patrick Mwesigye, the Kamira councillor, said the situation has compromised the health of residents.

"We have repeatedly petitioned the district authorities to provide more safe water sources with little success. The few shallow wells drilled by the district water department dried up just a few months after being commissioned," Mr Mwesigye said.

Ms Rebecca Nakanjako, a resident of Katagwe, said women are at risk of being raped since they move late at night.

The State Minister for Local Government, Ms Jenipher Namuyangu, tasked district leaders to address the challenge.

"The district should prioritise the well-being of residents by ensuring they have safe water. It is the duty of the leaders to be transparent and ensure that the residents get to know about all the projects being implemented including the accountability component," Ms Namuyangu said.

Mr Henry Musisi, the district assistant chief administrative officer, attributed the low safe water coverage in the area due to the low water table resulting from the poor bed rock that does not favour establishment of shallow wells.

"The district is, however, sourcing for additional funding to ensure that these areas get the deep bore holes. Each deep borehole costs about Shs19m. The district plans to allocate more funds for the safe water sources for Kamira in the new financial year 2019/2020," Mr Musisi said.

Early this month, the district leaders said they had partnered with the National Water and Sewerage Corporation to extend piped water to all remote villages, especially in the cattle corridor areas.

Under the partnership, the district has already committed more than Shs30m to extend piped water to Lutuula, Namatogonya, Kiiya, Lukinzi and Lusanja villages in Butuntumula Sub-county.

Water coverage

Currently, clean piped water is only accessible by 27.5 per cent of the district population in Luweero Town, Wobulenzi, Bombo, Zirobwe, Kikyusa and Bamunanika. Last year, NWSC secured Shs15b to extend piped water to more 406 villages in Luweero, Wobulenzi, Semuto, Bombo, Kapeeka and Zirobwe.Statistics from the district water office indicate that about 76 per cent of the total population depend on water point sources.

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