Power Crisis Cripples Water Supply in Kitgum Town.

6106 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
In the meantime, the town has to rely more for water supply from NWSC plants at Hilltop and Lemo Gweng in Kitgum town council. Unfortunately, while these plants have standby generators and solar power, they have lower supply capacity according to Stephen Gang, NWSC area manager.

Kitgum Town is experiencing an acute water shortage caused by an electric fault at the main National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) treatment plant in Kitgum Core Primary Teachers' College.
 
The crisis began on Monday after several electricity poles at the college fell down. Umeme tried to reconnect power to the plant on Thursday and failed. Now NWSC had been forced to ration water supply to the town.
 
The NWSC area engineer Samsom Munanura says the situation has been exacerbated by lack of a standby generator at the treatment plant in Kitgum Core Primary Teachers' College.
 
 
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In the meantime, the town has to rely more for water supply from NWSC plants at Hilltop and Lemo Gweng in Kitgum town council. Unfortunately, while these plants have standby generators and solar power, they have lower supply capacity according to Stephen Gang, NWSC area manager.
 
Gang says the Kitgum Core PTC plant with a reservoir tank capacity of 300,000 litres is best suited to meet the town's needs.
 
Engineer Samson Munanura says the main plant urgently needs a standby generator in case the power problem persists.
 
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Long queues are forming around the few boreholes in Kitgum town as water kiosks remain closed. Uganda Radio Network spoke to some school going children who said they had to turn up to fetch water for domestic consumption as early as 5:00am before going to school at 8:00am.
 
Other residents say they have changed their lifestyles to cope with the current crisis. Grace Abalo, a resident of Apollo Ground says she has only done laundry once this week after hearing public service announcement advising the public to use available water sparingly.
 
Abalo is not sure what she will do when her 120 litres of water run out.
 
Hotel and restaurant proprietors are resorting to fetching water from rivers.  Concy Lajara, a restaurant operator in Pager Crescent Ward says she was forced to collect and boil water from River Pager.
 
Daniel Madiris, Umeme Kitgum Supervisor told Uganda Radio Network that the power utility is working hard to restore power to the National Water and Sewerage plant at Kitgum Core PTC.
 
He says broken poles that caused the initial blackout at the plant had been restored without giving details of why power is still not reaching the plant.

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.