- Figures from Ministry of Water and Environment also show that West Nile sub region currently has access to clean safe water standing at 79 per cent
- Greater part of Zombo district does not have access to clean safe water including the district headquarters
- Statistics also show that Agiermach Helath Center II in Warr Sub County recorded 48 cases of dysentery, Warr Health Center III recorded 81 cases of dysentery, while Zeu Health Center III recorded 62 cases of the same disease in 2018
By Ronald Orachwun
Zombo- The managing director National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) Eng. Silver Mugisha has ordered the extension of clean safe water to disease prone four border posts in Zombo district.
While meeting the leaders on Tuesday, Mugisha decried the poor conditions under which the local people are living without clean and safe water.
He said the corporation is currently traversing the country to map out areas for possible intervention.
He says the NWSC mandate coincides with President Yoweri Museveni’s 2021 vision that all the villages in Uganda should have 2 taps under the Service Coverage Accelerated Project SCAP 100%.
Statistics from the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) shows that out of the 57,950 villages in rural areas in Uganda, 19,596 villages (34 per cent) do not have a safe water source.
The Zombo district LC5 chairman John Birombo Orwiny decried the high prevalence of water borne diseases at border posts in the district which he attributes to inadequate clean safe water in these areas.
“Areas like Zeu, Padea, Alangi and Warr are mushrooming densely populated urban centers in Ora county Zombo district bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo and rely on seasonal water sources like streams with the few boreholes which cannot serve the ever increasing population.”
Statistics from Zombo district health department shows that 443 suspected cases of acute and persistent typhoid, 634 cases of dysentery, 34 cases of trachoma and 9,923 cases of diarrhea were reported from different health centers in Zombo district from January to December 2018, most of which were triggered by domestic use of unsafe water from border posts in the district.
Alangi Health III recorded 980 cases of diarrhea, Agiermach Health Center II in Warr Sub county recorded 76 cases, while Zeu Health Center III recorded 1,054 cases of diarrhea the same year.
He says diseases like diarrhea and dysentery are so prevalent in these border posts as a result of inadequate clean safe water, adding that the existing water sources like streams and boreholes are not recommended for human consumption which could easily expose the lives of locals to the risk of contagious aliments.
Mr David Abura, the LC3 chairman Okollo Sub County Arua district attributes the constant illegal connection or theft of water to the acute water crisis ravaging most villages in the West Nile region.
He said locals are sharing water with animals, that pose great risk of contracting water borne disease.
A 36-year-old Achan Rose, a resident of Jupanyondo village, Zombo district says her family in many cases is faced with financial constraints and is unable to buy safe water provided by the NWSC, adding that her household solely depends on water she fetches from the nearby shallow well.
The NWSC area manager Paidha branch Geoffrey Mwesigye says the local population in the district has since resorted to using their traditional water sources like streams, to which they attach ancestral blessings.
He says people fetch unsafe water from boreholes, shallow wells and wetlands, with some of those water sources having pit latrines dug about 10 meters, with some soon to be demolished.
One such water source earmarked for demolition is the borehole in Anafa village in Paidha town council, Zombo district, which authorities suspect to be the most contaminated by the nearby latrine.