The rehabilitation of Kitgum Urban water works has stalled following the breakdown of two pump stations. The 2 Million US Dollar rehabilitation work funded by USAID was expected to be completed by November this year. However, the project completion hangs in balance following the breakdown of two pump stations.
Michael Wokorach, Kitgum Town Clerk blames the breakdown of the two pump stations to poor installation. Wokorach says each water pump costs between 20-30 million shillings, which the town council cannot raise immediately. He says at the time of signing the contract with the USAID, drilling and construction of new wells was not included in the contract.
He says the contractor will have to write back to the funding agency, explaining what happened to request for more funds.
Wokorach says after writing to USAID, they will send a team of experts to verify the information on the ground before a report is written to the funding agency. He says based on the report, a decision will be taken on either to release more funds or reject it.
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He however fears that if USAID fails to allocate more funds for the drilling and purchase of new water pumps, the project may stall until a new donor is got. He appeal for calm from the town residents as a solution is being sought.
Officials of KOL Services, the company contracted to rehabilitate the water system have not yet commented on the latest development. An attempt to get clarifications from the management on the next course of action was futile as the team was not onsite.
However, the residents who are already feeling the pinch of water shortage are not amused by the latest events. Margaret Aciro, a resident in East Ward says she was hoping that the rehabilitation would take little time to complete. Aciro says at the onset of the rehabilitation work, the pipe leading to her home was disconnected.
She says since June last year, she has never received water at her home. She says she fetches from a borehole, over 600 meters away from her home. She hopes immediate solutions will be found to save the situation.
Susan Aber, another resident from East Ward B says this is a deliberate attempt to deny people access to clean water. Aber wonders why the contractor decided to disconnect pipes without first completing the laying of new pipes. She wants the contractor to reconnect the old pipes immediately. When complete, the Urban water works project is expected to supply water to residents of Kitgum town council and the nearby sub-counties.