Residents of Buteba sub-county in Busia district are struggling to access clean and safe water for domestic use. The available boreholes have dried up while the water in the spring wells is contaminated with mercury and other waste products due to poor gold mining practices.
The most affected are residents of Akobwait, Salama, Angorom, Amagoro and Buteba villages. Rosemary Amukuche, a resident from Salama village, says that they have opted to cross to neighbouring Kenya to look for water since the borehole that was drilled in their village in 2018 has dried up.
She says that they currently buy a jerrycan of water at between Shillings 700 and 1000 from Shillings 200 previously.
//Cue in: “Hapa salam tuko…
Cue out: watusayidiye kabissa,”//
Maxmilla Obelah, a resident of Abochet village says that they trek 5 kilometres to fetch borehole water, which has red particles and is risky for drinking.
She appeals to relevant authorities to intervene in the situation.
//Cue in: “Shidda penye tuko…
Cue out:..wupande ya maaji,”//
Sarah Atenge says that they cross to Kenya to access safe and clean water where they are charged Shillings 10,000 every week.
Emma Egesa Eduki, the Buteba Sub county LC 3 Chairperson, says that the problem of water shortage has affected over 9,000 people in the entire sub-county.
//Cue in: “Jerrycan of water…
Cue out:…alarming seriously now”//
Godfrey Wandera, the Busia district water officer, says that part of the table in the sub-county is covered by a rock making it difficult to drill boreholes.
He says that they are engaging the National Water and Sewerage Corporation to extend piped water to the area.