Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Red Cross Society-URCS has commenced emergency water treatment Nyalulu river in Bundibugyo district for flood victims as flash flood water contamination persists in 12 sub counties.
URCS erected the emergency water treatment plant at Nyauka bridge on Nyalulu river course, some 10 kilometers from Ssemuliki High School and Bubukwang Refugees Reception Center on Tuesday.
Irene Nakasiita, the Head of Communications and Public Relations URCS, says the plant treats 20,000 liters of water, which is distributed to the displaced persons using a water bowser truck.
“We have been testing the operations of the plant since Tuesday and found it to be working well. And so far we have treated more than 60,000 liters for each of the 1,500 displaced persons receiving between 10 – 15 liters a day. We will increase the capacity of the plant as pressure at the source builds up with more water gathering into the stream” she told URN on phone on Thursday.
Nakasiita says the main sources of water contamination in the district include fecal matter from latrines overran by floods and open defecation as well as soil dirt from gardens and roads.
It is feared that drinking the contaminated water could trigger an outbreak of water borne diseases such as Cholera in the settlement camps.
The humanitarian agency says some 32,000 people have been affected and 18 others killed by landslides and floods that ravaged the district in recent weeks.
“Clearance of debris and restoration of livelihoods in homes destroyed by the floods remain a daunting task for government. And as you might know, these are outside the scope of Uganda Red Cross Society. But we might end up supplying seeds to help the displaced rebuild their livelihoods in the future,” Nakasiita added.
She says URCS was forced to suspend breakfast from the list of hot meals served to the displaced as supply of Rice and Maize flour delivered by government dwindles in the local government store.
Richard Bukone Sajjabi, the Bundibugyo Chief Administrative Officer, says government delivered more food aid for the displaced persons on December 24th, 2019. He however, couldn’t confirm the quantity of the relief.
Francis Xavier Ssenyondo, the Assistant Bundibugyo Chief Administrative Officer in charge of disaster response couldn’t be reached for a comment as his phones went unanswered.
Earlier in the week, URCS delivered non-food relief items to some 1,117 flood affected persons in the villages of Lusenke, Lusenke Farm and Namutya – Soroti in Kayunga district where floods also destroyed homes.
Government says it will spend Shillings 70 Billion in reconstruction operations to rebuild public infrastructures ravaged by devastating floods triggered by environmental changes over the Indian Ocean.
It says up to Six Million people were affected.