Uganda: Expectant Mothers Stuck As Health Centre Lacks Water

The management of Buteba Health Center III in Buteba sub-county in Busia District has halted deliveries and other medical services citing lack of water at the facility.

The Health in Charge, Dr Carol Mukhwana, says the absence of water at the facility has become a huge challenge to the facility's health service delivery.

She says medical workers have been asking expectant mothers coming for deliveries to come with their own water for use at the health center, which she says is an inconvenience.

According to Dr Mukwhana, the Health center receives only Shs6,000 each quarter for water.

"But now since there is a tank, we are hoping that if it rains, that is when we shall harvest some water for use but as per now we are buying since it's a dry season. We only have water for use at the facility but not enough to facilitate the patients," she said.

Records at the facility show that it receives an average of 50 expectant mothers every month.

Beatrice Namusya and Jessica Awino, who were waiting for delivery at the facility, said that they were forced to carry jerricans of water from their homes, which are distance of over 5 Kilometers.

They appealed government to intervene and save the situation.

"The situation is not good, we are forced to bring our own water which is not an easy task," said Namusya.

Sicola Auma, another mother said that she had spent two days at the health center without bathing due to lack of water.

Miriam Emojel, the Buteba parish councilor says they have severally addressed the issue of water shortage at the facility but with no response from the concerned authorities.

According to Emojel, they resolved to hire strong machines from a Chinese Company to break the underground rock and drill a borehole at the facility but it's yet to be implemented.

Anthony Egesa, the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, says the area has a challenge because it is rocky.

He, however, said that World Vision donated a water harvesting tank of 2000 liter capacity to the facility which is yet to be installed.

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