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MPs want a policy on boreholes for primary schools

posted 8 Feb 2015, 22:11 by Sekuma Peter
MPs have asked government to come up with a policy of drilling boreholes for each primary school to prevent pupils walking long distances to access water from the community boreholes.

The lawmakers’ call came after a survey conducted in 10 primary schools in Pallisa and Kibuku districts revealed that most of the schools visited did not have boreholes, and were instead accessing water from the community boreholes.

"We are going to put pressure on government to come up with a policy to ensure that each primary school has a borehole," Ngora Woman MP Jacline Amongin told fellow MPs, head teachers, water officials and members of the civil society.

Amongin was speaking during a roundtable breakfast meeting on financing water, sanitation at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday.

Amongin, who is also the chairperson of the parliamentary forum on water, sanitation and hygiene was backed by Pallisa MP Jacob Opolot who said a water source point is critical for any school community.
The study that was commissioned by Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group and supported by Water Aid Uganda also found that 60% of the school visited in both districts had no hand washing facilities.

‘Change policy’

The schools where the survey was conducted included Midiri, Kobolwa, Kabweri, Buseta, Kituti in Kibuku district.

For Pallisa district the primary schools where the research was done were Kamuge, Kamuge Station, Ngalwe, Pallisa Township and Odepai.

"The government should change the policy of the community deciding where the borehole should be drilled and allow the school to have their own," said Emmanuel Kareeba, the district education officer of Kibuku.

Gomba Woman MP Nakato Kyabangi proposed that government should consider setting up shallow water wells since drilling boreholes was more expensive. On average, drilling a borehole coast sh20m while putting up a shallow water well costs sh3.5m.
"It is cheaper to maintain the shallow water wells than the boreholes when they break down," Kyabangi said, adding that that’s what she encourages in her constituency.

The MPs also called for increased funding on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools.

The study however, found that there was constant increase of funds towards WASH in schools for the last three financial years in both districts.

Pallisa received sh18m, sh21m and sh24m in the financial years 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13 respectively.

As for Kibuku, the funding increased from sh486m to sh511m and then to sh542m in the financial years 2010/11, 2011/12, and 2012/13 respectively. source; New Vision