Bundibugyo residents have resorted to rain water harvesting following the failure by the district to provide safe water services. Access to safe and clean water sources remains a challenge for communities in some parts of the district. Some water sources have broken down and have never been repaired, leaving several households without water.
Residents have now constructed rainwater tanks and small reservoirs to harvest rainwater. In Kichwamba parish, Bubukwanga Sub County, residents constructed a tank that can store up to 3,000 liters of water. The tank serves more than 70 households in the area. Francis Bwembale, a resident of Kichwamba parish says that in the past access to clean water was difficult because the water sources were far away from his home.
He says that they have been requesting district authorities to provide them with safe water sources for two years in vain. Bwembale says that as a result, they decided to construct a water tank that has helped them.
//Cue in: â€œthe water problemâ€¦â€
Cue out: â€œâ€¦no water in the village.â€//
Margaret Mugenyi, another resident says that access to clean water supply is a human right, but she is surprised residents have been neglected by the district. She says that residents were spending 700 Shillings on a jerrycan of water.
Mugenyi who has also ventured in rain water harvesting says that she sells a jerry can of water at 100 Shillings to some households who are yet to construct water tanks.
Some public buildings in Bundibugyo town are also operating with rainwater tanks to store water. Water Aid, an international non-profit organization in partnership with the district water department has started to sensitize residents on the importance of rain water.
Every financial year, Bundibugyo district council allocates 300 Million Shillings for the construction of water sources like gravity water schemes, bore holes and shallow wells in all parts of the district. However the funding is too little to cater for the growing need. The water sources are often so poor that they last for only about two months.
According to statistics at the district water department, safe water coverage in the district stands at 35%. In 2013, the Ministry of Water and the Environment started drafting a policy to promote rain water harvesting across the country. Under the scheme several rainwater tanks and reservoirs will be constructed, especially in drought prone areas.