NWSC Rationing Supply in Mbale

2916 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
David Opoka, the NWSC Mbale Station Manager, blames the crisis on the low water levels.

The National Water and Sewerage Corporation-NWSC is currently rationing water supply to its clients in Mbale town due to the prolonged drought. NWSC has two treatment plants, which draw water from Nabijjo, Manafwa and Nabuyonga rivers.

However, the water levels have drastically reduced to the prolonged drought and human activities upstream. Some residents have diverted the water to their gardens. As a result, the Mbale Water station has gone without stable water supply for over two months forcing NWSC to start rationing supply.
The station covers Mbale Municipality, Nakaloke, parts of Sironko, Manafwa, Pallisa and Butaleja Districts. There are at least 140,000 clients connected to the water supply in Mbale. Currently, some of the water consumers only get water between 5: 30 am to 8:30 am. Others get water between 8:30am to midday. 
However, in some areas people without water for as long as three days. Currently, a jerry can of 20 liters of water costs between Shillings 1000 to 1500. David Opoka, the NWSC Mbale Station Manager, blames the crisis on the low water levels.
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The water crisis has hit hard Hotels, Restaurants, lodges, markets, and Hospitals among others. Esther Muzaki operates a restaurant along Tororo road in Mbale town. Muzaki is counting loses because of the water crisis, which forces her to rely on water vendors who are charging highly.

"This is the worst season i have ever experienced in my life since i came to Mbale town three years back," she noted. Muzaki says should the water crisis persist she will be forced to close her restaurant and do something else that brings her profit.

Swaibu Musobya, a fresh fish vendor at Mbale main market, says they are facing a huge a challenge in their business due to lack of water. According to Musobya, they need water to clean their stalls and fish.
A staff at Mbale High court, who declined to be named, said they are finding difficulty to run the water borne toilets given the high number of people without running water.
On average Mbale hig court receives around 200 people each working day. They include inmates, their relatives, prison warders, police officers and court officials. Susan Itukei, a resident of Namatala in Mbale Municipality expressed disappointment, saying NWSC distributed bills on Friday last and disconnected their homes despite the unstable water supply.


About the author

Salume Among
Salume Among is the Mbale URN bureau chief. Among has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Among started her career in 2000 as a freelance writer for Etop newspaper before starting to write for its mother paper, The New Vision. She also wrote for the Vision Group's XFM radio station from 2008 until she left to join URN.

Among has a keen interest in local politics having been a youth representative in the Soroti variously between 1996 and 2010. Among also regularly reports on health, education, the environment and sports.