Councilors Demand Accountability for Decommissioned Water Points

1562 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
The water points were either none functional or had been abandoned following the return of IDPs to their homes.

Councilors in Gulu are demanding accountability for spare-parts from 350 boreholes that were decommissioned in the district. Last year, Gulu district council resolved to decommission 350 boreholes and motorized water points that were located in former Internally Displaced People’s camps. The water points were either none functional or had been abandoned following the return of IDPs to their homes. Some of the areas where the water sources were decommissioned include Paicho, Awach and Patiko.

Now, the councilors are raising concern on the whereabouts of the spare parts of the decommissioned boreholes. Lillian Lalam, the Woman Councilor for Awach and Paicho Sub County says despite the fact that several boreholes were decommissioned, the materials that were recovered are not seen at the district headquarters where they were allegedly taken for safe custody. Lalam says one of the water sources that was decommissioned is found in Awach Zone A a former camp where she lived as an IDP. She says residents feel that the decommissioned boreholes should have been used in areas where there are no protected water sources.

According to Lalam only 45% of people in her Sub-county have access to clean water. Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu LC5 Chairperson says the spare parts from the decommissioned boreholes are currently being kept safely in the district stores. He says the spare parts include expensive generators for motorized water sources and borehole parts. Ojara explains that some of the spare part is being used to repair water sources in the villages where the former IDPs have resettled. He says a motorized pump was stolen from Awach Sub-county leading to the arrest of unidentified area local leaders. The LC5 Chairperson accuses the complainants of harboring selfish interest in the spare-parts.