TORORO – Last Friday, July 7, jubilations and chanting rocked Tororo Girls School and Rock View School in Tororo district as students and pupils celebrated the win in the National Sanitation and Environmental Quiz, under the Schools’ Water & Sanitation (SWAS) Clubs.
The contest that was supported and funded by National Water and Sewerage Corporation attracted over 60 Secondary and Primary school from the entire Eastern Region of Uganda and was held at Uganda Technical College Elgon in Mbale district.
The schools competed in Essay writing, quiz, Poetry and skit under the theme: Plant a Tree, Save the Future” all zeroed at the good and bad effects of hygiene, what should be done to have a disease-free country, the value of planting trees, the benefits of having a conserved environment.
The contest is part of the nationwide campaigns, urging the public and schools to protect the environment by planting trees and promote sanitation for better health.
Tororo Girls School and Rock View School received trophies and cash worth Shs. 7 million and 4.5 million shillings respectively from National Water and Sewerage Corporation for emerging champions.
While handing over the trophies and promissory cash notes to the winning schools, the Resident District Commissioner Mbale district Mr. Suleiman Ogajo Barasa applauded National Water Sewerage Corporation for championing the campaign describing it as a breakthrough that backs the national tree planting and sanitation campaign which the president is emphasizing to address effects of climate change.
“When you attend such events, you appreciate that Ugandan children have great and huge potential. If sponsors would come on board and tap into these talents, we would be very grateful’’ said Mr. Ogajo.
The resident district commissioner urged leaders to encourage their communities to make tree planting part of the usual practice by making it a point that trees are planted in commemoration of events other than cakes.
He encouraged the participants to become change agents by ensuring that they replicate the same concept in their schools and home. Dr.Edith Katente the deputy managing director of National Water and Sewerage Corporation said the contest was part of the social corporate the responsibility that the corporation had extended to harness young people’s potential for Uganda’s Social-Economic Transformation.
She said the corporation has planned to team up with educational institutions to spread the gospel of environmental conservation.
She added that the campaigns were initiated based on the deteriorating volume and quality of water that National Water and Sewerage Corporation experiences at the course of executing its mandate of supplying water to its customers.
‘’I wish to inform the gathering that we as a corporation consistently receive un-kind words from our customers when we are unable to ensure a reliable and constant supply of water and of course we cannot blame them because no one can live without water and it is from that background that we are trying to inculcate the spirit of having respect to the environment among the young generation’’ Dr. Katente said.
She said as a corporation they have started a tree planting drive and so far they have planted over one million trees and more are yet to be planted.
Cutting of trees, burning of grass and extended human activities along the river banks from where we draw our water has greatly affected the efficiency of the corporation because this affects the volume of water during dry spells while during the rainy season the corporation encounters high cost of treating of water’’ she observed.
Other schools that received awards included; St. Maria Goretti Nagongera Girls, Butiru Demonstration primary school, Wiggins Secondary School, Jeressar High School, Ngora Girls Secondary School, Manjasi High School, Busia Secondary school, Shalom Junior School, Rock High School, Mbale Police Primary school Wanyera, Sironko
Junior School, Sironko Progressive Secondary School, Teso College Aloet, Butiru Christian Comprehensive secondary school, Mama Junior School Malaba, St. Thomas Kapchorwa SS, Madibira primary school Buisa, Jamela Amuria Nursery and Primary school among others.