Several formerly displaced persons in Gulu district who have returned to their villages are choking with thirst following the drying up over two hundred water sources brought about by drought.
Several formerly internally displaced persons in Gulu district who have returned to their villages are choking with thirst, after more than 200 water points ran dry.
In most areas, the residents walk for kilometers from their homes in search of safe water sources because the boreholes, protected springs and wells have dried up due to the on going dry spell.
Gulu district has a population of 375,000 people most of whom are jut resettling in their homes following years of displacement by over two decades of water. Meanwhile, water coverage is at 60 percent compared to the 75 percent demanded by the Millennium Development Goal.
Jacinta Akany, a mother of six and a resident of Panykworo village, Bungatira Sub County explains that she spends over four hours every day to fetch water from the nearest source that is about three kilometres away. Akany adds that the problem has also affected learning at the nearby Panykworo primary school as children spend longer hours trekking to draw water at the same source.
Peter Omona, a resident of Twon Okun in Bungatira Sub County regrets that they are having the problem after returning to their villages from the IDP camps where he said there were better sources of clean water despite the difficult environment of the camps.
Omona appealed to the local leaders to lobby development partners to provide reliable water sources that may not easily b affected by drought.
Olal Andrew Obong, the head of water department has decried the low level o water supply saying that in some areas residents walk for seven kilometers to access clean water sources.
He disclosed that the water sources that have dried up due to drought include 74 boreholes, 48 shallow wells and 28 springs. He added that the district plans to drill 150 more boreholes and open up 10 springs as well as 35 shallow wells to help make water more available to the community.
Meanwhile, Oyet Godfrey Jomo, the head of the production department has said that the drought has not only reduced the supply of water to the community but also lowered the productivity in the district because he said most farmers rely on rain for agriculture.
He attributed the problem to climate change that has over the years been characterized in the district by floods, drought and erratic rainfall. Oyet says his department plans to construct 24 valley tanks to help store water for livestock, aquaculture and agriculture.