The stations, have been installed on each of the seven health center IIIs in the district, and can also be used by the neighboring community. The health centers that have received the water stations include this in the town councils of Kassanda, Bukuya, and Kiganda. Between September 2022, and January 2023, Kassanda, was the epicenter of the Ebola Sudan virus outbreak, which claimed up to 54 lives.
The commissioned solar powered water station
The residents of Kassanda district are excited
about the change in their quest for reliable clean water sources at their
health center IIIs, thanks to the installation of seven solar-powered water stations
provided by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with funding from the
United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAID).
Each of the seven health center IIIs in the district, including
those in the town councils of Kassanda, Bukuya, and Kiganda, has received the
water stations. This initiative holds significance, especially following the
Ebola Sudan virus outbreak between September 2022 and January 2023, which
claimed 54 lives in Kassanda district.
Dr. Herbert Nabaasa, the commissioner for environmental health in
the Ministry of Health, highlights the challenges faced during the Ebola
outbreak due to water scarcity. “Fighting this disease was very difficult in
this area because the district is water stressed yet to prevent the disease
from spreading, it needs a lot of water,” he said.
He emphasizes the importance of sufficient water
supply to prevent disease spread and expresses optimism that these
solar-powered stations will enhance outbreak management and support healthcare
in the installed health centers.
//Cue in; “A few months…
Cue out; … within this area.”//
Nabaasa acknowledges that despite the government's establishment
of health centers, the lack of safe water has compromised sanitation and health
service delivery in many areas.
Patrick Kasingo, the LC1 chairperson of Kanugga village, echoes
the community's reliance on rainfall and swamps for water, which has
contributed to disease outbreaks. He believes the water points will
significantly improve sanitation standards in the area.
//Cue in; “Kati nga ffe…
Cue out; … ab'ekyalo tubatusobola obwekolelako.”//
While commissioning the water stations at
Makokoto Health Center III on Wednesday, Philip Smith, the developments director at the British
High Commission in Uganda, emphasized their aim to provide safe water to over
30,000 people in these regions and enhance healthcare quality in alignment with
the UK government's efforts to support Uganda's health centers lacking access
to safe water.
Munir Safieldin, the UNICEF country representative, underscored
the role of Infection Prevention and Control mechanisms (IPC) during outbreaks
and highlighted the necessity of such measures to curb disease transmission,
especially in health centers.
//Cue in; “One of the….
Cue out; … and to control,”//
He revealed the establishment of water operation and management
committees, jointly managed with the community, responsible for daily
operations, maintenance, and collecting nominal fees for water usage. Safieldin also disclosed one member from each community is trained in the maintenance of the water station to ensure sustainability.
The introduction of
solar-powered water stations not only addresses immediate water scarcity but
also sets the stage for improved healthcare and disease prevention.