KAMPALA – “Ever since our water sources were washed away by floods caused by heavy rains, we have resorted to drawing water from swamps, as earlier you saw the children. This is because we are tired of complaining to our leaders” Ms. Achen Juliet, resident of Bunono in Entebbe told PML Daily in an interview on Thursday.
Achen’s concern is that if the government does not wake up to construct a recommended source of water, it is high time to prepare billions of shillings to treat those who would contract the water-related illness, as it is doing to those contracted with Covid-19.
“If the government does not stand out and provide us with clean water to save us from contracting diseases like cholera, and typhoid, it will have to spend double to treat Covid-19 patients and us who will be sick of diseases that result from this situation” She adds.
Bunono is one of the villages in Katabi town council in Wakiso district, located at the shores of Lake Victoria, just next to Entebbe Municipality. Upon visiting the village on Thursday, this news publication was able to see children with jerrycans drawing water from a dirty swamp.
Ssepuya Walter 54, also a resident of the same zone, explained even connecting to the national water supply is very expensive, going ahead to testify how he has spent much when buying a jerrycan of water, yet he registered for tap water two years ago.
“Some of us have tried to save ourselves by applying to be connected to national water, but the process is too long and tiresome, leaving us with no option, then resorting to swamps.” Ssepya Walter explains.
While explaining to PML Daily, Violet Ahibisibwe a nurse in God’s Clinic in Bunono, the number of people contracting waterborne diseases is on the rise, calling upon the government to intervene in order to save the population.
“In this area, the number of those diagnosed with typhoid is high, compared to those of Covid-19, in fact, those of Covid-19, are just brought by funeral service companies for burial being their burial places are in this village, the government should also come out and put measures that can prevent people from contracting an illness that can be avoided” She explained
However, this publication established that human activities have also led to contamination of water sources and also sometimes clearing way good water sources to have their houses constructed in the area; this was confirmed by local leader Kasuja Gerald
“People here are difficult to understand what they want, they’re the ones who throw garbage in water hole where they are supposed to draw water for use, and also sometimes clearing away sources to have their buildings constructed as if they are not seeing that there is a water source,” said Kasuja Gerald, a local leader.
The issue in demand, is to save hundreds of people living in Bunono, who are surviving on dirty contaminated water, and constructing clean water sources, will save the population from being attacked by the illnesses like typhoid and cholera, and taxpayers money get wasted on mistakes that could be avoided, according to Ms. Zamu Waswa, the area local leader.
According to the 2018 UNICEF Child Survival and development programme, it is very clear that diarrhea remains one of three major child hard killers in Uganda, and it kills 33 children every day, where children get such diseases after drinking unsafe water.
Speaking to the mayor of Katabi Town Council, Julius Kalema Basamulakele said, the town council is doing everything possible to see that the people are connected to national waters; however, he referred this publication to the town council health officer for further inquiry.
In an interview with the town council health officer in charge of health and sanitation, Dr. Kabale Martin said, national water is doing everything possible to see that the entire town and nearby villages are connected to clean and safe water.
“National water is doing what is possible to connect the entire Katabi and other areas to clean and safe water, though the connection has been delayed a bit, so people should be patient. Neither as you are aware that we no long can’t use shallow Wells, nor renovating because they are easily contaminated,” said Dr. Kabale Martin
Dr. Kabale also went ahead to castigate the population of settling in areas like swamps where the government has disbanded locals to live after they went ahead to blame the authorities for not extending services to the same group.
According to national water, a unit of piped water costs sh.3516 (domestic tariff) and sh.4220 (commercial tariff)