Tororo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Communities in Merikit Sub County, Tororo district are celebrating the commissioning of a project water and sanitation project, donated in memory of Sam Frobisher Owori, a senior Ugandan Rotarian who died two years ago.
The sh1 billion project provides ten 10 new boreholes for community health facilities, ten rainwater harvesting tanks and ten school sanitation facilities in Merikit Sub County, Tororo district, one of the areas in dire need of water and sanitation services. The area is characterized by poverty, poor health and poor hygiene.
Rotarians around the world donated to the “Access to WASH in Tororo” project as a tribute to the work and life of the late Samuel Owori, the first Ugandan to be elected President of Rotary International, a humanitarian service Organisation that unites professionals committed to improving lives and bringing positive change to communities around the world.
State Minister for Health Sarah Opendi who commissioned the water project at Merikit Primary school on Saturday, said that Tororo is still grappling with water shortages, with coverage only standing at 62 per cent compared to the national coverage which stands at 76 per cent.
She said that the water project by Rotarians is a key boost to the government’s efforts to provide water to the communities of Tororo.
Hope Waira, the president of Rotary Club of Kampala said that water is the most valuable resource any community can have by extending water to Merikit, the community now has something important millions of around the world don’t have.
George Karnes, the International project coordinator urged the people of Tororo to guard the project jealously, in honour of Sam Owori.
Rotarian Jimmy Serugo, the project coordinator said that they have trained people who are going to manage and maintain the project also sensitize communities to promote good sanitation.
Paul Elukot, the Merikit Sub County Community Development Officer said that within a short period of time the water project has been around, it has improved the health and living standards of the people within the sub-county.
Peter Oketch, the LCI chairperson Merikit Village said that the water project will ease the access of water in the area and reduce on the long distances women have been trekking in search of water.
Marisa Nyaburu and Osinde Egwero, all residents of Merikit sub-county said that they have been sharing water with animals and now this has saved them from the hygiene-related diseases they have been suffering from.
Owori died as a result of postoperative complications from a planned surgery on his leg, in Dallas, Texas, two years ago, a few months to the start of his supposed term as Rotary International’s 108th president.
Prior to his death, Sam Owori was the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda (ICGU). He previously served as the Executive Director of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Managing Director of Uganda Commercial Bank Ltd.
Since becoming a member of Rotary in 1978, Owori has served Rotary as Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator, Regional Rotary International Membership Coordinator, Regional International Representative to the United Nations Environment Program and UN-Habitat, and Rotary International Director.