Uganda: Shs6.6 Billion Facility At Elegu to End Water Crisis

The Ministry of Water and Environment has started the construction of a Shs6.6b water and sanitation facility at Elegu border town in Amuru District.

District authorities say the project, funded by Germany Financial Cooperation through KfW, a German state-owned development bank, is expected to bring to an end the water crisis and improve sanitation.

Mr Geoffrey Osborn Oceng, the Resident District Commissioner, said the project will cover Elegu, Lorikwo East, Lorikwo West, Bibia East, Bibia West, Kaladima East and Kaladima West villages.

Mr Oceng said residents of Elegu and Bibia have been lacking access to clean and safe water due to constant flooding in the rainy season and severe drought in the dry season for the past 10 years.

"Many times when it floods, all water points and pit-latrines are destroyed, leaving the whole town in a poor state of hygiene. But this [project] will now address all the water problems in the area and improve sanitation," he said.

The construction of the multi-billion facility is being undertaken by Palm Construction Company Limited, and is expected to last 12 months.

While handing over the site to the contractor at the weekend, Mr Micheal Lakony, the district chairman, applauded government for the intervention.

"Elegu Township has constantly been hit by natural disasters which has caused water crisis. This project, has therefore, come in time and we believe the issues caused by flooding and drought are coming to an end," Mr Lakony said.

Last year, floods submerged dozens of pit-latrines and threatened the lives of more than 14,000 people in the town.

The floods destroyed human settlements between June and November following persistent and heavy torrential rain that forced Unyama River, a tributary of Aswa River that joins River Nile in South Sudan, to burst its banks.

Trail of destruction

The floods have also previously left businesses at the bustling border town paralysed as many shops, restaurants, garages and parking lots remained closed. In June 2019, police were forced to relocate more than 10 suspects detained at Elegu Police Station after flash floods hit the facility. The border is a major entry and exit point for traffic and cargo between Uganda and South Sudan with large volumes of goods and people crossing daily.

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