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Buvuma district struggling to provide safe water to residents

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Buvuma district is still struggling with providing clean water sources to residents due to challenges of transporting the necessary equipment and materials to set up the water points.

With 52 scattered islands on the Northern part of Lake Victoria, Buvuma district is home to more than 80,000 people. The district supplies water from Lake Victoria communities for use.

However, majority of the residents lack access to water because of the failure by the district to install clean water points.

Buvuma District Senior Water Officer, Augustine Ssebuliba, says they find a huge problem to provide clean water points because of transport challenges.

He says contractors often lose their equipment and construction materials when transporting to various islands in boats. Some of the material lost because of the turbulent waters includes cement, iron bars and sand.

Ssebuliba estimates that they have lost materials worth Shillings 40 million have in the last four years.  Only, the main island in Buvuma district is accessible by ferry, which connects to Kiyindi in Buikwe district.

Jawaduh Ssevume, a resident at Buvuma Island notes that water from the lake is contaminated and not good for consumption.

“It is the same water that animals drink, on many islands residents directly bath from it. In many areas we lack sanitary facilities meaning that people ease themselves directly in the lake. Surely we need safe water points,” Ssevume said.

According to Ssebuliba, the water coverage on the main island stands at 36 percent where they have managed to set up a solar powered water treatment plant.

Ismael Kabonge, the Buvuma Principle Administrative Secretary-PAS, says the district would wish to supply safe water to its residents but the topography makes it hard.

He says they often find it hard to transport machinery to distant islands to drill boreholes.

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