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Kamwenge District gets big rural water boost

Biguli Sub County gets three piped water supply systems

One of the water reservoirs built for Biguli sub county.
One of the water reservoirs built for Malere- Nyakabungo- Butanda communities in Biguli sub county. COURTESY PHOTOS

Settling for unclean and unsafe water will soon be a thing of the past in Biguli sub county, Kamwenge District in western Uganda.  This follows the construction of three piped water supply and sanitation systems by Water For People in conjunction with the Kamwenge District Local Government.

The three systems include:  Rwebishahi, Malere- Nyakabungo-Butanda and Busingye-Buhumuriro. The systems were on April 27  commissioned by Engineer Aaron Kabirizi Director of the Directorate of Water Development in Uganda’s Ministry of water and Environment.

With a total storage capacity of 90,000 litres, the three systems can serve a domestic population of up to 7,129 and an institutional population of 4,140. The systems currently cover a distribution length of 8.6km with a possibility of further expansion. Earlier in July 2015, another system was commissioned, covering a 7km distance and serving approximately 7000 people in the Biguli-Kirinda communities.

 

In line with Government’s Vision

Speaking at the commissioning of the Rwebishani system, Eng. Kabirizi noted that the construction of piped water systems by Water For People is aligned to the government’s Vision 2040 and targets stipulated in the second National Development Plan (NDPII) of 2015/16-2019/20.

Water gashes out of the new pipes in Rwebishahi
Water gushes out of the new pipes in Rwebishahi

According to the NDPII, the Government of Uganda targets to increase water supply coverage in rural areas from the current 64% to 79%; to increase urban water supply to 95%; increase sewerage coverage to 30% in towns with a population greater than 15,000. At a global level, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also target to attain 100% safe water and sanitation coverage by 2030.

The government aims to achieve these targets by ensuring that each village has at least one source of water.  Moreover, Government also intends to invest more in piped water systems rather than point water sources like boreholes, shallow wells and spring wells. “Therefore the construction of piped water supply and sanitation systems by water for people contributes directly to the Government’s vision,” Kabirizi said.

Engineer Aaron Kabirizi Director of the Directorate of Water Development in the Ministry of water and Environment launched the project.
Engineer Aaron Kabirizi Director of the Directorate of Water Development in the Ministry of water and Environment launched the project.

Biguli water 3

The Country Director of Water for People, Ms Cate Nimanya said that since the organization started constructing water supply and sanitation systems in Biguli sub county, coverage and service delivery have improved. The price of water has since reduced from about sh500 to sh100 per 20 litre jerry can.

“Before the interventions started in 2012, Biguli Sub County was one of the least served with safe water coverage at just 23%. Now it is at 53%,” the Biguli Sub County LCIII chairman, Mr Simeon Komaho said.

The Kamwenge District Resident District Commissioner urged the benefiting communities to contribute towards the sustenance of the water supply systems and to protect the environment noting that cutting of forests to make charcoal affects availability of water.

Location of Kamwenge in Western Uganda
Location of Kamwenge in Western Uganda

Edrine Nalubwama a resident  expressed her joy saying: “We have been surviving on dirty water for a while and it has been unsafe for our children but I hope with this new addition, the situation is going to get better.”

Water For People financed the construction of the systems worth sh1.2billion. Ministry of Water and Environment as well as the Kamwenge District Local government provided the supervisory support; while the benefitting communities provided the required land. The Biguli Sub county local government provided supervisory manpower and also worked on land acquisition.

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