Lyantonde Water Crisis Worsens

3556 Views Rakai town, Uganda

In short
Dr Edward Ssekawojwa, the Lyantonde District Veterinary Officer says the water crisis has greatly affected their work.

A water crisis has hit Lyantonde town council following the breakdown of six boreholes that has been serving residents. As a result, thousands of residents in the town council currently depend on a single borehole. The only functional borehole is found in Kaliiro B ward close to Lyantonde district headquarters. Hundreds of town council residents queue up at the borehole each day to access water for domestic use. Scovia Namuleme, a resident of Lyantonde town council says they are now forced to line up as early as 4am in the wee hours of the morning to access water.

Namuleme, a mother of two says that at times she misses going to her shop because she spends about four hours waiting to get water. Dr Edward Ssekawojwa, the Lyantonde District Veterinary Officer says the water crisis has greatly affected their work. Ssekawojwa says he spends most of the morning lining up for water at Kaliiro B. He says the water problem has been aggravated by the failure by the town council to repair broke pipe water system, which has not been functional since last year.

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12-year- old Samuel Tusiime and 15- year -old Ezekiel Kafeero told Uganda Radio Network that they have to wait for close to eight hours before accessing the bore hole. They explain that because they are young, elderly people bypass them in queues because they cannot fight them. Tusiime claims that he always beaten at home for delaying at the bore hole after returning without water. Peter Kanwagi, a resident of Lyantonde town council says due to the water scarcity, triggered by the prolonged drought vendors have hiked water prices.

He explains that a 20- liter jerrycan of water now costs between 1000 and 1500 shillings yet it was only 200 shillings. He claims that due to the high demand several youths have taken to water vending to cash in on the crisis. Herman Ssentongo, the Lyantonde Town Clerk says they are in the final stages of restoring the spoilt bore holes and water system. He however, didn’t explain why the town council has taken long to repair the six boreholes. Fred Muhangi, the Lyantonde LC5 Chairperson says the situation isn't any better in other areas of the district.

He says despite the fact that they expect the dry spell to persist, they have no alternative but to wait for rain. He says many cattle keepers are struggling to provide water for their animals. The water crisis has also affected Rakai district. Residents in several sub counties such as Kakuuto, Kasasa and Kifamba are struggling to access clean water due to prolonged drought. Benon Mugabi, the Rakai LC5 Chairperson says the district is in final stages of procurement to utilize a 700million shilling grant from the Egyptian government to repair various bore holes.

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Both Rakai and Lyantonde districts suffer annual dry which trigger water scarcity. In Rakai, a shillings 8.5billion water project meant to address the water challenges stalled after Dott services, which was contracted to construct a bulky water dam, abandoned work citing financial constraints.
 

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.