Police Intervenes to Address Water Crisis in Kitgum


In short
Police are now using the fire tender truck to ferry more than 10,000 liters of treated waters to affected communities in peri-urban areas in Kitgum town council.

The Uganda Police Force (UPF) has taken over the water supply in Kitgum district following the contamination of boreholes and other natural by running rains and runoff from latrines.

Police are now using the fire tender truck to ferry more than 10,000 liters of treated waters to affected communities in peri-urban areas in Kitgum town council.

Denis Ochama, the District Police Commander says they were concerned that the communities are fetching water from unprotected sources. The response followed an outcry by the area leadership claiming that most sources used by residents had fecal traces and pose a serious health hazard for the communities.

At least 80 inmates in Kitgum Central Prison were recently diagnosed and treated for Typhoid before the revelation was made.

On Monday afternoon, the force distributed waters to at least 200 households in Padol and Auch Wards in Greenland and Pandwong Parishes respectively. Ochama says the benefitting communities are those that are not covered on the national Grid.

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Denis Ochama, the Kitgum district Police Commander says the intervention also represents the corporate social responsibility of the police force which is now celebrating 100 years of police existence.

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Toroma Walter Livingstone, the Town council LCV representative says Police intervention is appropriate since the use of boreholes is barred in areas where National Water and Sewerage Corporation is operational.

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Acan Rhoda, the Area LC3 Councilor told the force that the Crisis is immense in the dry season. She said women spend more than half of their day queuing for water from the only borehole in the area. Acan says many residents began consuming dirty water in the area after the only National Water and Sewerage Corporation water stand in the area revised their rates from Ugx 150 to Ugx 200.
Immaculate Achieng, a resident of Auch Village said water crisis in the village is forcing residents to collect water from unprotected wells and wetlands often used as bushes for defecation.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.