Water Crisis Forces Miners To Forego Bathing

1772 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
Hundreds of artisanal miners at Lolung small scale mines in Rupa Sub County, Moroto district, go for months without bathing or washing clothes due to water shortage. Mariko Munyes, now acting as the village chairperson, says they buy water from boda-boda cyclists who sell a 20-litre-jerrycan at between 2000 and 4000 shillings. Munyes notes that the cyclists ride more than 20 kilometres to access water for the mining community.

Hundreds of artisanal miners at Lolung small scale mines in Rupa Sub County, Moroto district, go for months without bathing or washing clothes due to water shortage.
 
The newly established gold mining site has attracted an estimated 50,000 people from different parts of Karamoja and other regions in Uganda and neighbouring Kenya. But the area, now a new settlement with families, doesn't have any near water source or health facility for residents.
 
Mariko Munyes, now acting as the village chairperson, says they buy water from boda-boda cyclists who sell a 20-litre-jerrycan at between 2000 and 4000 shillings. Munyes notes that the cyclists ride more than 20 kilometres to access water for the mining community.
 
//Cue in "No water...
Cue out...we survive."//
 
Jennifer Angole, one of the women in the mining site says she has taken five months without bathing or washing her clothes because of lack of water. The elderly woman explains that the cost of water can't allow her bathe since she has a bigger family relying on the little money she gets.
 
Ngakarimojong bite
//Cue in "Akipi da...
Cue out...kotere elos."//
 
Simon Nangiro, the chairperson of Karamoja Miners Association acknowledges the situation on the ground and asks local government authorities to intervene. He notes that the most affected persons are children living in the mines.
 
Edward Eko, the assistant Chief Administrative Officer Moroto, says they have visited the community and are trying to lobby for a borehole for them.
 
"One thing you should know is that those communities are mobile and we don't know how long they will stay there but we are concerned about their state," Eko said on phone.
 
Karamoja has a number of boreholes abandoned by communities after moving to new settlements. The locals settled at the new mining site early this year as as they moved in the bushes in search of fruits due to hunger.