Jinja District Hit By Water Scarcity

3510 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Some of the areas affected include the villages of Budoome and Nalinaibi in Busedde Sub County, Naluwerere and Namwendwa in Buwenge town council and Buwekula parish in Mafubira Sub County.
Most of the people living in these villages have stopped drawing water from the nearby wells because they have dried up. The bore holes that were constructed six months ago have also run dry although Jinja district water office says they are mechanically fine to pump water.

Several areas in Jinja district are facing a severe water supply crisis even as the world marks Water Day today.

Some of the areas affected include the villages of Budoome and Nalinaibi in Busedde Sub County, Naluwerere and Namwendwa in Buwenge town council and Buwekula parish in Mafubira Sub County.

Most of the people living in these villages have stopped drawing water from the nearby wells because they have dried up. The bore holes that were constructed six months ago have also run dry although Jinja district water office says they are mechanically fine to pump water.
 
Hamisi Kiganila, the LC3 chairperson for Mafubira Sub-County, says most of the spring protected wells and some boreholes have dried up. The problem has been aggravated by the geographical set up of most of the areas which are rocky.

For the last couple of months, residents have been seen trekking long distances looking for water.
Mafubira sub-county is among the few administrative units in Jinja with lower water coverage, currently estimated to be below 40 percent.

At Buwekula spring well, hundreds of people sometimes stand for more than eight hours waiting to collect water. Some abandon other activities like farming to line up for water.

Magidu Zaake, one of the residents in Buwekula, narrates what they go through daily to get water.

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Budoome village, which is located 31km from Jinja town, is another part of Jinja suffering the consequences of increasing water shortages.

David Ereemye, Jinja district Water Officer, says a new government water project has been introduced for people in the affected areas to harvest rain water. The project will be partly funded by government at 40%, while the beneficiary will foot the bigger percentage to acquire fresh, safe water.

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Ereemye says at least 70,000 people are affected by water scarcity in Jinja district.
Construction of a fully fledged rain water harvesting system with a 10,000 litre storage tank goes for 2.5 million shillings on the local Ugandan market.

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights the health consequences of water scarcity, including outbreak of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and salmonellas. Access to clean and safe water has been highlighted as one of the drivers to achieving the millennium development goals by 2015.

WHO says nearly one billion people in the developing world don't have access to clean water.

According to the World Bank, about 320 million people in Africa live in urban areas, with water service coverage at less than 50% in most cities, leaving a majority of city dwellers to get water from unreliable sources.