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Water shortage hits Kampala, jerrycan costs sh1000

posted 16 Mar 2015, 06:19 by RCN Uganda   [ updated 16 Mar 2015, 06:21 ]

By Agnes Kyotalengerire

It is six thirty in the morning, the pedestrian lanes along the Kabaka Road in Ntinda is awash of women and children balancing jerrycans of water on their heads while others struggle to lift them. The men struggle to push bicycles also loaded with jerrycans of water up the hill.

The story is not any different in Naguru, children in school uniform; women and men queue up struggling to draw water in turn from a protected well.

“We have not had water since Monday. So we have to move to springs in the neighborhood to get water in the morning before going to work,” said one Moses Tumusiime a resident of Ntinda police quarters.

Tumusiime said it is only a few people who can afford to buy a jerrican of water from people with reserve tanks at a cost of sh500.

Edward Mbogo a resident of Kanyanya Kikaya A zone laments the sky rocketing prices of water in the last four days since the water shortage broke out.

“I have been buying a 20-liter jerrycan at sh100 from commercial water taps but now we have to depend on trucks and bicycle men who fetch water from the springs and sell us a 20-liter jerrycan of water for sh1,000,” he said.

Residents of Najjera a Kampala suburb are trapped in the same predicament. Pamela Busobozi a mother of four says the area has not had water since Tuesday. Since the water ‘disappeared’, Busobozi has been fetching the water from her aunt in Kamwokya on her way from work.

“The water shortage has made it difficult for us to use facilities like toilets because we cannot flush after they use the toilets. Luckily we have a latrine which we are using in the meantime,” she said.

The impending water shortage  has forced many people to fetch water  from springs around the community yet most springs around Kampala are believed to be contaminated with faecal matter; a factor behind the current typhoid outbreak in Kampala.

What has gone wrong?

Media manager National Water and Sewage cooperation, Samuel Apedel, said the current water shortage in Kampala that started on March 9 stems from the infrastructure improvement changes at Ggaba cite to shift the newly constructed pipes to the existing pipe line of Naguru reservoir.

“We are trying to improve supply of water to the areas served by the Naguru reservoir. We are replacing a big supply pipe line with the aim of having a big transmission main which is part of the infrastructure improvement,” Apedel said.

The Naguru reservoir serves Naguru itself, Ntinda, Kisasi, Kiwatule, Nalya, Bukoto, Kyanja, Kulambiro  ,Najjera, Buwate, Komambogo, Kyebando and parts of Gayaza.

The executive director National Water and Sewage Co-operation; Dr. Sylvester Mugisha said the NWSC team has already done the interconnections at Bunga cite in Gabba and in the final stages to restore supply.

Apedel said the water supply in the area is not enough because the population has grown creating a shortage of 50 million liters of water.

He said the big reservoir being connected will be able to rectify the problem.

Temporary interventions

Dr. Mugisha said in the meantime the affected people on Namugongo and Nalya line have been connected to Mukono line.

“Once the Naguru reservoir has been restored, the line will be shifted back,” he said.

In the meantime, Dr. Mugisha said they are providing tanked water got from their water sources to the affected communities

Source: New Vision

 

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