Residents of Lulom in Orom Sub-County, Kitgum, are demanding that the newly elected national and LC5 leaders prioritize the provision of publicly accessible safe water in their village.
Orom Sub-County has the lowest water access rates in Kitgum. A report released last year by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said less than 40 percent of the people in Orom have access to safe water sources.
The situation in Lulom is quite acute. All wells and rivers have dried up in the heat and the nearest water point is located in the mountains nearly 25 kilometers away.
Because of the long distance, residents of Lulom are forced to fetch water from dirty streams or to walk long distances into neighboring villages.
Faustino Amuneri, one of the residents, calls the situation "appalling." He says that because of the water shortage, some people do not take a bath for more than a month. He explains that they cannot afford to use the precious little water available for personal hygiene.
Amuneri says the water shortage has been repeatedly reported to the local government and state authorities, but no action has been taken.
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Lulom village is located close to the border of Kitgum and Kaabong. It has a population of about 1,000 people who are very poor.
The area LC1 chairperson, Peter Luweri, says he has personally raised the problems of Lulom with district leaders, but he is persistently ignored. He says he is tired of nonsensical leaders who refuse to provide solutions to the urgent needs of the people.
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With the electoral season at its height, none of the responsible LC3 and LC5 officials are on hand to answer questions about the poor water access in Orom.
Documentation from the Office of the Prime Minister on the Northern Uganda Peace, Recovery and Development Plan indicates that only two boreholes were built in Orom last financial year.