Posts tagged ‘water shortage’

June 23, 2014

Uganda: Kitgum Residents Share Water Points With Animals

Dan Michael Komakech
June 23, 2014

Residents of Toboi in Lolwa parish Orom Sub County in Kitgum district have resorted to sharing contaminated rain runoff water that collects on rock inselbergs with animals due to scarce water points in the vicinity.

The resident explain that they survive on dirty unprotected water from Lela Toboi inselberg because of the far distance of over three to seven kilometers that one has to trek in search of clean drinking water in the neighboring villages of Wipolo and Tikau and Karekalet river spring.

The situation has rendered residents particularly the most vulnerable elderly, disability and children to opt for nothing other than runoff water from contaminated sources which makes them exposed to water borne diseases and death.

“If it rains we utilize rain runoff water that gathers on these inselberg and if it dries off we trek to Wipolo aor Tikau where we are charged 2000 shillings (nearly one US Dollar) per 20 litre jerycan”, says Rose Acan.

Acan fetches water from an Inselberg in Kitgum

Acan fetches water from an Inselberg in Kitgum

Rose Acan says that despite having placed several appeals before the relevant authorities about the problem; nothing is being done to help the over 400 affected households in his village.

Orom Sub County Chairperson Quirino Olum says the problem has been persistent because of the inability to drill boreholes in the area due to the rocky topography and appeals government and other stakeholders to help the community by hastening the Orom gravity water flow project.

“I challenge the district and the central government to implement the project so that the locals can have access to clean water for domestic use and production.”

Gravity Water Flow Scheme

Plans are underway to commence the construction of a 25 billion shillings (about 100 million US Dollar) gravity water flow scheme that will involve tapping piped water from the Karakalet and Lakilepa natural water springs that flows atop Orom hills in Kitgum district.

Kitgum district water officer Peter Oryem Okema says the project, if completed will improve the access to safe water in villages with low safe water coverage due to in ability to drill boreholes for domestic use and production.

A water point in Kitgum guarded with dry branches of trees to prevent animals from access it

A water point in Kitgum guarded with dry branches of trees to prevent animals from access it

Okema notes that Orom lies along areas in Kitgum with the poorest ground water potential due to rocky topography and geology which makes it inability to drill borehole and hitting dry wells adding that the scheme has the capacity to benefit the Sub-counties of Orom, Mucwini, Namokora, Omiya Anyima, Lagoro and Kitgum Matidi.

He further notes that initially there was a plan to utilize the gravity flow scheme for an irrigation scheme but they opted to change it domestic use other than farming and production.

Senior engineers from the Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment have already conducted a feasibility survey to get a consultant to design the scheme and bid documents to secure a contractor to commence the implementation of the project.

April 23, 2014

Zambia: Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company Voted the Best in Developing World

NEWTON SIBANDA
April 23, 2014

LUSAKA Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) has been voted the best water utility company in the developing world at the just ended Global Water summit in France.

LWSC public relations and marketing manager Topsy Sikalinda said in a statement that the company was selected from four other utility companies from various African countries.

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Mr Sikalinda said the Water Leaders Award is a global water awards event designed to reward excellence and innovation that recognizes utility companies making a difference at the front-line of the battle for safe water and good sanitation.

This year, the awards were presented by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the French capital, Paris.

“LWSC was voted amongst the best four utilities in the developing world that were eligible to receive the award for 2014.

The other three were ABSA of Argentina, Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board of India and National Water and Sewerage Corporation of Uganda,” Mr Sikalinda said.

Water scarcity is one of the world's leading problems affecting more than 1.1 billion people globally

Water scarcity is one of the world’s leading problems affecting more than 1.1 billion people globally

LWSC managing director George Ndongwe said the company has made progress in improving the lives of people through improved water supply and sanitation services.

“We are delighted to be recognized by Global Water Intelligence as the best water utility company.

We have made a lot of strides in improving the lives of people in Lusaka through projects that benefited over 500,000 people,” Mr Ndongwe said.

He said the company has completed the construction of a new treatment plant in Luangwa district and the rehabilitation of the Kaseba water treatment in Kafue.

Mr Ndongwe said other projects include the installation of new water connections in Lusaka`s Libala South, Kaunda Square and many other surrounding areas.

March 21, 2014

Kenya: Low Knowledge Levels On Water and Integrity Reported, Despite Huge Funding In the Sector

Mary Mwendwa
March 21, 2014

Many Kenyans have no idea of where to get quality services on water related issues despite the huge financing the sector has attracted in the recent times; Water experts have noted.

Climate change phenomena and poor planning and pollution are some of the factors that have left many Kenyan’s taps dry.

For example, in Nairobi town, 20 years ago, the city had clean and safe drinking water for its small population by then. With a current population of 3 million, with a majority of its population living in informal settlements, clean, affordable and regular water is no longer guaranteed to these people. Water cartels have flooded the water market, making the basic commodity expensive for people.

In Kibera, one of Kenya’s largest slums, water goes for 10sh per 50 kg container. A price that many say is far too high depending on the water they need to use in a given day.

Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya

Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya

According to Athi Water Services Board, a body that is mandated to oversee water supply in Nairobi, informal settlements are yet to be incorporated in their plans. They say many dwellers in the sector cannot afford the connection fee for water supply .They however, add they are working with partners like World Bank who to see how these people will be placed in the water connection plans of the city.

Agnes kyoli, a mother of three in her late 30s,who lives in one of Nairobi suburbs, Kasarani, complains, “I only get water three times per week in my house, any it only flow very late at night. This means that I have to cut down on my sleep and spent almost the whole night fetching this precious commodity. My bill of 800 ksh per month remains the same. I have no idea who to complain to. I am now used to this water problem.”Same sentiments are echoed by her neighbor who seemed so annoyed with the whole issues.

Prof. Munguti says the water sector is facing huge challenges that without proper legislation more and more taps will still run dry in the country. So much water is lost to unscrupulous dealers with illegal connections.”We need a law that will regulate all these and also the law should be able to reduce the number of too many water regulatory bodies which confuse the public on their roles and mandates. I believe these many bodies might be just another hub for corrupt individuals who will always play blame games as people suffer.”

He also notes how County governments have a major role to play on water sector. “Counties can come up with their own water use plans and supply enough water to their people without any problems,” he concludes.

More than half the diseases worldwide are caused by dirty water like the one above.

More than half the diseases worldwide are caused by dirty water like the one above.

During a tour that was aimed at collecting views from people about the proposed water bill 2013, many people had less information on where to access water information. “For example in Coast province, knowledge on water was too low as compared to other regions in the country. In western human rights and water integrity was the hottest issue among the community members.

In Tana River district they had issues with national regulatory body which manages water in the region. All these are just some of the indicators that give us an overview of how many Kenyans have less information regarding water accessibility,” Prof.Munguti Katua, Centre For Social Planning administration Development (CESPAD) says.

The Kenya water Act 2002,spearheaded more resource generation , government commitment and development partners which has resulted in a proposed water Bill 2013 which is still being worked on.

Water Resource Users Associations (Wruas) with their current functions of equal distribution and sustainable use of water is among the success stories , the water sector has managed to come up with.

These are eight regional Water Services Boards (WSBs) in charge of asset management through Service Provision Agreements (SPAs). The Act also created a national regulatory board (WASREB) that carries out performance benchmarking and is in charge of approving SPAs and tariff adjustments. The Ministry of Water and Irrigation is in charge of policies for water supply and the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation is in charge of policies for sanitation.

The Bill however, points out areas of major concerns; unclear mandates, where citizens are not able to hold the government to account, appointments to the bodies, where there is limited cushioning of the institutions from political interference by appointing authorities.

To improve on governance in the sector, it recommends; a defined framework for monitoring, evaluation and reporting for the proposed institutions and devolved structures so as to encourage information sharing in public participation in decision making and a need to plan for frequent water forums by stakeholders , where water issues would be discussed and recommended.

February 19, 2014

Uganda: Living Water International Helps Thousands to Access Clean Water

Taremwa Charlotte
February 19th 2014

Living Water International, Uganda a faith-based non-profit organization that helps communities in developing countries to acquire safe drinking water has constructed up to 263 boreholes in North Eastern Region Uganda.

The move has helped thousands of households in the region to access safe water.

About a quarter of Uganda’s population lack access to safe water

About a quarter of Uganda’s population lack access to safe water

North Eastern Region Uganda region includes the semi-arid Karamoja sub region where water scarcity has been a big challenge. Most people in this region derive their livelihood from pastoralism since rainfall is not sufficient to support agriculture.

Alex Muhumuza, the Programs Manager at the western region office for Living Water International, Uganda says the problem of water shortage has been a big challenge to the people of Karamoja and their livestock.

“Harvesting rainwater is also a challenge because people there live in grass-thatched houses but now they have at least boreholes which can provide clean water,” notes Muhumuza

A drilling ridge used in the construction of boreholes

A drilling ridge used in the construction of boreholes

The agency has also supported communities in southwestern Uganda to access clean water by constructing two gravity-water flow systems and seven rainwater tanks in Ruhaama county Ntugamo district and Nyabushozi, in Kiruhura district.

“People in these areas dig water dams but when drought comes, the dams dry up so the water reserved in tanks can be used,” elaborates Muhumuza

July 8, 2013

Uganda: Farmers Make Loses As Soils Run Out Of Water

Chris Mugasha. Pictures by Chris Mugasha
July 8, 2013

Hundreds of hectares of plantations of both food and cash crops in Kasese, Rubirizi and Kamwenge districts have been destroyed by drought leaving residents worried of a looming famine. The farmers are now calling on the government of Uganda to fund irrigation schemes in regions to help prevent farmers from making loses.

A garden of maize which has dried up due to drought

A garden of maize which has dried up due to drought

Farmers say the area is endowed with many rivers including River Nyamwamba which burst its banks recently but no efforts have yet been put in place to tap the waters. “There are rivers here in the district, but we are not tapping them due to lack of capacity as farmers,” said Adam Bwambale the Nyakatonzi Growers Cooperative Union secretary manager.

The most affected crops are maize, beans, millet, G.nuts, rice, cotton, coffee and sun flower among others.

Some few lucky farmers are likely to harvest little food for consumption but not for market as they had targeted, according to the Nyakatonzi Growers Cooperative Union treasurer Moses Nuwagaba.

This has come up as a result of climate change which has caused changes in seasons where by the drought started in May a month farmers expected rains.

Nuwagaba is also the secretary for Kyambura zone under Rukooma farming cooperative union in Rubirizi district where over 1000 hectares of maize, beans, millet and G.nuts have dried off.

Speaking to WaterSan Perspective, Nuwagaba says the issue of farmers depending on traditional science whereby they rely on predictions has left them in loses. He said, “farmers need information about climate change that is real to guide them.”

Nuwagaba said some times the meteological department officials need to change the approach and capture the information of each area instead of basing on data gathered from regions. “Things have changed so they should also change the approach because sometimes they say it will rain in a certain district but it doesn’t rain,” Nuwagaba said.

He said farmers are not yet even sure when they should prepare to plant. Nuwagaba however said, “rains will start early according to our observations because it disappeared early so it may come early.”
Nuwagaba noted that an area like Kasese which is fertile would require government to intensify irrigation schemes to help farmers.

He also said there is decline in cotton production which he attributed to price fluctuations, weather conditions, vermins, wild animals and poor methods of farming. He explained that since 2010 cotton production has been diminishing. “Farmers planted a lot of cotton basing on the shs3000 per kilogram which they received in the 2010 season but to our surprise the price has diminished to shs1200 per kilogram.”

Bwambale said they had received orders from international organizations like World Food Program to supply them with maize but adds saying they are not sure where they will hit the target. Bwambale further noted that as a result, they have land which is lying idle.

Sylvester Mudosi (right) a farmer looks  at an irrigation system supplying water to his garden. His farm is in Mubuku  in Kasese district.

Sylvester Mudosi (right) a farmer looks at an irrigation system supplying water to his garden. His farm is in Mubuku in Kasese district.

In the other side of Kasese where there is Mubuku irrigation scheme, crops are doing well as the vegetation is somehow green in some parts but fruit farmers are complaining of a break out of fruit diseases.

December 16, 2012

Uganda: Living with Scarcity

Chris Mugasha
December 16, 2012

A woman with a Jerry Can struggling to locate where to fetch water from in the degraded Kikondera wetland in Buhweju district of Uganda. Gold mining activities in the area have left people with nowhere to fetch water from. Degradation of the wetland has disorganizing the ecosystem there. Picture by Chris Mugasha

A woman with a Jerry Can struggling to locate where to fetch water from in the degraded Kikondera wetland in Buhweju district of Uganda. Gold mining activities in the area have left people with nowhere to fetch water from. Degradation of the wetland has disorganizing the ecosystem there. Picture by Chris Mugasha

%d bloggers like this: