NAKASEKE. For a district where more than 70 per cent of the population shares water sources with animals, the commissioning of more than 16 new water sources comes as a big relief.
In Nakaseke District, not all the water sources numbering more than 990 are functional, according to the district chairperson, Mr Ignatius Kiwanka Koomu.
“When we get partners who are ready to partner with the district to widen our water coverage, the lives of our people will be secured,” he said in an interview on Sunday.
The water sources were constructed by Busoga Trust International, a Christian charity organisation, which has so far established more than 500 shallow wells and water harvesting tanks in Luweero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola districts.
Ms Deborah Nakanwagi, 64, a resident of Namasuba Village in Kasangombe Sub-county, Nakaseke District, could not hide her excitement.
She said, like her, many locals were walking 6kms in search of water for domestic use at a communal well where the water is not safe for drinking.
“At this new water source, we do not need to always boil the water before drinking because we have been assured that it is safe. We thank Busoga Trust and the friends from England for this new water source,” Ms Nakanwagi told the district leaders at the commissioning of one of the water sources at the weekend.
“It is true that we are not at our best in the area of safe water coverage and the commissioning of these new water sources donated to some of the communities, which have a serious gap in safe water coverage, is a big blessing. We are now encouraging our communities to ensure that they have functional water user communities and that they own the water sources,” Mr Koomu told residents of Namasujju Village in Kasangombe Sub-county.
Rev Pearson Andrews, the executive director of Busoga Trust International, said the shallow wells are affordable and cheap to maintain.
“It is true that in Uganda, many people would wish to have the motorised boreholes, but they are not affordable to the local communities who are struggling to have access to safe and clean water. This is the very reason why we are establishing these shallow wells,” Rev Pears said. “The water has been tested and found to be very good. Unlike other water sources where the water is found to be salty, the water sources established have very good safe water. We are also encouraging the residents to own up these water sources,” he explained.
At Namasuba Primary School, which received one of the water sources, Mr Francis Kanakulya, a parent, said the pupils could spend about two hours looking for water for use at school from a swamp, which is about 5kms away.
“This was a very big risk to our children, especially girls. These children were at a risk of drowning whenever the swamp is flooded and the water was not safe. This school has 420 pupils who need a nearby water source. We thank the friends of Nakaseke for donating a shallow well for our children and the community at Namasuba,” Mr Kanakulya said.
A shallow well costs about Shs14m while a motorised borehole goes for Shs25 million, according to Nakaseke District officials.
Nakaseke District engineer Anold Mugwanya is optimistic that having functional water user committees is a good sustainability plan for the new water sources.
“We have several water sources, which are none functional simply because the communities did not take care of these respective water sources. For all the new water sources established in Nakaseke, a water user committee is a must for purposes of sustainability,” Mr Mugwanya said in an interview.
Safe water sources
The water sources were constructed by Busoga Trust International, a Christian charity organisation, which has so far established more than 500 shallow wells and water harvesting tanks in Luweero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola districts. More than 990 water sources in Nakaseke District are not functional.