An acute water shortage has hit Kikuube district following the breakdown of several boreholes in the area. This is forcing women and children to trek long distances in search of clean water.
Joy Bagada, a resident of Kidoma in Kiziranfumbi sub-county, says she is forced to walk four kilometres from her home every day to get water. At Lwera village in Kyangwali Sub-county the only borehole that used to serve them broke down three years ago and to date, it has never been repaired.
The entire village of over 3,000 people now fetches water from a pond located five kilometres away, yet it is also shared by wild animals especially baboons and monkeys. Julius Okwera, one of the residents says that the area has no mechanics and spare parts to ensure that broken boreholes are repaired.
//Cue in; ”Sisi Kikuube si…
Cue out…pata Maji kwahuwengi.”//
In Kabwoya sub-county, most protected spring wells are bushy and were banned by the Ministry of Water and Environment. The ministry put a halt on spring wells because they are easily contaminated compared to boreholes and piped water systems.
The government said most of the spring wells are located downstream where people use pesticides and whatever comes from up is washed down contaminating water sources and putting residents’ lives at risk. But Juliet Katusiime, a resident of the village says that despite the ban, the area has no piped water. A 20-litre jerrycan of water is now sold at 1,000 Shillings.
//Cue in; ”Bojo hati nka…
Cue out:…Gafument etuyambe.”//
Hilary Winyi Agondeze, the Kikuube district water officer acknowledges that most water sources that were drilled way back have broken down and need to be decommissioned because they are not fit for rehabilitation. He says the district has 486 functional boreholes of which 285 have broken down.
Agondeze says that in the current fiscal year, they have only drilled 12 boreholes, rehabilitated 14 and constructed six shallow wells for 380 million Shillings in all sub-counties to solve the water shortage challenge. The said water sources have been constructed and repaired in the sub-counties of Buhimba, Kabwoya, Bugambe, Kiziranfumbi and within Kikuube town council.
According to Agondeze, they have trained 33 water user committees each with seven members and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with hand pump mechanics to ensure the broken water sources are repaired on time. Agondeze said the water user committees will be charged with collecting money for maintaining broken water sources.
Mark Kizito, a resident of Buhima Town Council says more budgetary allocations are needed to the water sector to cater for the increasing population due to immigrants seeking opportunities in the oil industry.
//Cue in; ”Nga fe abatuze…
Cue out…Kuno ku kikuube.”//
Kikuube district Chairperson Francis Kazini says that they have earmarked 600 million Shillings to the water department which will be used for rehabilitating and extending more water to underserved areas. He said they are in final stages of extending piped water system in the growing urban centres including Wairagaza, Kyarushesha and the town councils of Kikuube and Buhimba.
Kazini challenges the residents to own the existing few functional boreholes and maintain them to serve the population.
//Cue in;”Amakanda tuga teire…
Cue out:…Esente ziri zi.”//
He too appeals to partners to come on board and help the district in boosting its water coverage by constructing more holes.