Kabarole Rural Population Under-served by Water Department

2341 Views Kabarole, Uganda

In short
Kabarole district local government allocates meager funds to the water sector resulting in poor water access in the rural areas.

The Kabarole water sector is lagging far behind the growth of the district population.

The water department boasts of providing safe water to 65 percent of the population. However what is on the ground is quite different from the official statistics.
 
Every financial year, 500 million shillings is earmarked by the district council for construction of water sources like gravity water schemes, bore holes and shallow wells in the twenty sub-counties of Kabarole. This funding is too little to cater for the growing need and the constructed water sources are often so poor that they last for only about two months.  
 
A number of sub-counties can only manage to construct one bore hole for each village. This means only one water source serves more than 200 people.
 
In Kihondo village in Kichwamba, people spend hours queuing and the only bore hole in the area.

Moses Kateba, a Kihondo resident, says that sometimes fights break out at the bore hole because of the limited resources. He says that those who try to avoid the chaos have to walk several kilometers away to fetch water from Kihondo crater lake, which is polluted.

Kateba says the people of Kihondo have requested for the sub-county and district councils to come to their aid, but no help has come.

//Cue in: “In this village …”
Cue out: “… nothing has been done.”//
 
At Kichwamba trading center, the sole bore hole was vandalized. Water is available for sale, but at 600 shillings for a 20-liter jerry can, it unaffordable for most people.

Brenda Kabasinguzi, a trader in Kichwamba, says the bore hole stopped working two months after it was constructed. She says that since last year they have sent appeals for a new bore hole and are waiting for an answer.

The shortage of safe water sources is a real threat in Kabarole.

Last year, the district health department reported an outbreak of Bilharzia in Kasenda and Rutete sub-counties because of the consumption of polluted water. The two sub-counties are home to a number of crater lakes that are used as the major water sources.
 
Peter Bagambaki, the deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Kabarole, says the district water budget cannot be increased at this time. He says most of the money at the district's disposal is being used to pay debts and to construct the new district headquarters.
 
Bagambaki says the district has written funding proposals to several non-governmental organizations for support.
 
According to the 2005 National Water Development Report , though the rural water coverage has increased considerably over the last decade, significant investments are still required to raise the coverage to meet the national targets and the Millennium Development Goals for 2015.    
 
###

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.