Kyegegwa Residents Pay Money To Access District Water Points

2893 Views Kyegegwa, Uganda

In short
Kyegegwa district is on the spot for levying water fees on communities in rural areas. In February, the district council passed a resolution to have all rural communities pay money to access water from water sources that were constructed by the district water department.

Kyegegwa district is on the spot for levying water fees on communities in rural areas.

In February, the district council passed a resolution to have all rural communities pay money to access water from water sources that were constructed by the district water department.

The water sources are being managed by the LC1 and LC2 chairpersons. Each resident is supposed to pay 300 shillings to the chairpersons or to members of the water user committees for a jerrycan of water.

Some of the residents who can’t afford the fees to pay for more than three jerrycans walk long distances to fetch water from the swamps, which is a danger to their lives.

Margaret Nyangoma, a resident of Kabweza parish, accuses the district for denying them access to clean water. Nyangoma says that they are not supposed to pay for water because the district uses tax payers’ money to construct the water sources.

Nyangoma says that since introducing the fees two months ago, the district has still failed to repair boreholes in her area which provide them water. She says in her village, they don’t even have a functioning bore hole because they all broke down.

//Cue in: “Two or three…
Cue out: …with dirty water.”//

Francis Busobozi, a resident of Kijuma parish in Hapunyo Sub County, says that the district should have sought views of the residents before taking the decision.

In Kakabara Sub County, residents of Kijaguzo parish vandalized seven boreholes, protesting the decision by the district. Moses Irumba, a resident says they are not ready to part with money to get clean water because they know the service is free of charge.

According to Irumba, there is fear some residents may contract typhoid and dysentery because they are consuming water from contaminated water sources.

But the Kyegegwa district water officer, Henry Bakara, says that the fee is for repairing the borehole in case of a breakdown, or for rehabilitating fences that have been erected around the water sources.

Bakara says that whenever the water users committees (WUCs) demand money from the residents, they don’t comply so they decided to collect the money.

The WUCs are responsible for borehole management and are elected by the community.

He says the district doesn’t have alternative funds to supply water to rural communities. Bakara adds that the district does not get enough money from the central government to repair water sources yet even the local revenue is very poor.

Statistics from Kyegegwa district water department indicate that the clean water coverage in the district stands at 53% with majority of rural areas still not adequately covered.

 

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.