The Government has launched a Sh109b water project for the Kamuli district as a strategy to mitigate the effects of drying boreholes in the area. The launch comes after 10 years of delay due to a lack of funds.
The water and environment ministry attributed the delay to a lack of the required financing. The available resources, the ministry reported, could only facilitate about 30% of the project.
Out of the projected sh109b to fund the entire project to completion, the Government earmarked only sh36b for the first phase of the project.
Although Kamuli municipality currently has a water supply system, it was experiencing capacity challenges to meet the growing demand.
The assistant commissioner for the urban water and sewerage services department at the water ministry, Eng. Felix Twinomucunguzi, said: “The current demand is around two million liters of water per day. Unfortunately, the available scheme can supply half a million. There has been a need to augment the water supply.”
To meet the demand gap, Twinomucunguzi said the ministry had planned this project to put up a new treatment plant, adding that they will pump water 19km from River Nile.
Speaking during the handover of the construction site on July 20, Twinomucunguzi said the district was one of the water-stressed areas.
“If we are to serve all the water-stressed areas in Kamuli, the cost of the project will be about sh109b. However, we currently only have sh36b, which will focus on the municipality’s core,” he said.
According to the water ministry, 71% of the people in urban areas have access to water compared to about 68% in rural areas — however, the ministry targets to achieve 100% water coverage by 2040.
Since Kamuli has low-yielding boreholes, the area manager National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Denis Etonu, said boreholes dry up during the dry seasons. Because of changes in the season patterns, the yields tend to drop, affecting residents. To increase water supply, Etonu said:
“We came up with short-term interventions to upgrade our plant to increase the production capacity from 700,000 liters of water per day to one million liters.”
Perusi Nabirye, a mother of six, said they had been grappling with water challenges for quite a while.
“Water scarcity is a challenge for everyone in the district. Because of the dry spell, some families share water with animals from the wells,” Nabirye, a resident of Namisambya, said.
The Busoigo village chairperson, Willy Boipe, attributed the water challenge in his area to the removal of a borehole, which was serving five villages. The borehole was removed by contractors working on Byano road.
Areas to be served by the project
The project will serve the Bugondha treatment site, Butansi up to Kamuli, and the population on the 19km route from River Nile.
The critical sub-counties without water include Namasagali, Balowoli, Nabwigulu, Nabirumbi, Ndalike, Nawansanso, Butansi, Naminage, Namaganda, Mbulamuti, Namwenda, Buluya, Kasambira, Kisozi, Kiyunga and Nawanyango. Kamuli district had a population of 486,319 people, according to the National Housing census 2014.