December 5, 2011
Up to 122,100 people in the western Uganda districts of Kabarole, Kasese and Ntoroko are now enjoying safe and clean water courtesy of European Union and the Dutch Red Cross.
In 2008 European Union and the Dutch Red Cross injected 4 Million Euros in the rural water and sanitation project meant to extend safe and clean water to the hard-to-reach sub-counties of Mugusu, Kicwamba and Bukuku in Kabarole district; Kitwamba, Kyabarungira and Karusandara in Kasese district and Rwebisengo, Kanara and Karugutu in Ntoroko district.
The project was locally coordinated by the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS).
Now, Fred Atheno -the URCS Rwenzori regional coordinator says the target audience is now enjoying fruits of this project.
He discloses that the project has improved the water coverage in the benefiting communities.
“ The water coverage has improved from 32 percent to 65 percent in the past three years and this has reduce the water borne diseases and also saved people who were moving long distances in search of clean and safe water,” he said.
However, Atheno notes that the project faced challenges of taking materials to the area because of bad terrain.
“Taking materials to the site, drilling and equipping the boreholes were not easy due to the terrain of the area and the poor road network,” he said.
Alex Mugisha, the Manager Uganda Red Cross Kabarole branch reveals that there is now sufficient water coverage in all the three districts. He urges the communities to own the project, maintain and protect the water sources so that they can serve them for a long period of time.
“I urge you to maintain and sustain the facilities to keep it functional for a long time,” Mugisha said.
Twenty eight persons from villages in the benefiting communities have been trained in pump mechanics and equipped with repairing tool kits to oversee the water collection points such as the bore holes in their colleges.
Mugisha says that the project is also targeting to form and train 730 water user committees for both new water sources and those rehabilitated.
In Kabarole district, the district chairperson there, Richard Rwabuhinga says that water coverage in the district stand at 82 percent, but was quick to add that residents of Rutete and Kasenda sub-counties still use water from creator lakes that exposes them to get Bilharzias and other diseases.