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Water crisis hits Kaberamaido, Soroti districts for weeks

Residents line up for water at the borehole.

Kaberamaido, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A severe water crisis has hit Kaberamaido and Soroti districts. In Kaberamaido, residents have been struggling to access piped water for more than one month now, while Soroti joined the queue on Friday last week.

The water crisis in Kaberamaido district started early last month when some unscrupulous individuals reportedly vandalized pipes supplying water from Soroti.

The pipes were first vandalized in Oculoi sub county in Soroti district before they were removed from other areas.

Samuel Akol, the National Water and Sewerage Corporation-NWSC Kaberamaido branch manager, says that after Oculoi, the pipes were again vandalized in Okapel and Kalipa areas in Kaberamaido.

He notes that the acts of vandalism have affected their efforts to restore the water supply to Kaberamaido town council and the surrounding areas. According to Akol, efforts to arrest the vandals have not yielded results.

“We have been working on the water pipes since the first breakdown was reported but every time we restore the lines, we register another case of vandalism”, he said.

The crisis has hiked the price of water to more than Shillings 1,000 a jerrycan in some places. Sarah Adibo, a restaurant operator in Kaberamaido says that she spends Shillings 10,500 on water alone each day since the supply was affected.

Adibo says that the water crisis has affected her business output, something she notes might force her to temporally close until the supply is stabilized.

Julius Ebuya, one of the water vendors in Kaberamaido says that they are forced to charge customers highly because of the district and the time taken to fetch water from other sources.

“For customers in town, we have been charging between 200 and 500 Shillings per jerrycan but since this shortage came in, the demand for water increased. All the nearby boreholes are busy and it sometimes takes us hours to access water for our customers”, he said.

In Soroti city, the water crisis climaxed over the weekend following a power outage on Friday evening. Piped water was completely cut off leaving several businesses struggling.

Lenny Otai, the Manager of NWSC Soroti area, says that there was a breakdown at the Awoja water treatment plant that affected the supply in the city.

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