In an effort to end acute water crisis in certain parts of Tororo district, National Water and Sewerage Corporation has embarked on the Aguru Reservoir project.
This was revealed by the NWSC board chairman Dr. Eng. Badru Kiggundu who led a team of water engineers from NWSC to undertake a fact finding mission in the district. The team met with area leaders including RDC Nixon Owole and LC5 chairman John Okea and that they discussed water and sanitation in this area.
The team was informed that there is water scarcity in some parts of the district especially at Aguru. Here, it was reported that a jerrican of water goes for shs1000 instead of the Sh25. The local leaders described the situation here as frustrating and absurd but Dr. Kiggundu promised that soon, things will be better.
“The situation is bound to change, sooner than later. The Tororo area team has already embarked on the Aguru Reservior project with trenching already ongoing and very soon, water will be flowing in the area” Eng. Kiggundu said.
The RDC commended NWSC’s commitment to service in the area especially within the town but however, noted that outside the town services are lacking.
“In town, we have no problem at all. We do however hope that the people outside town can be catered for as well”, he stated, adding that he was happy with NWSC staff for being responsive, cooperative and dedicated.
Meanwhile, the deputy managing director-Technical services Eng. Johnson Amayo assured people of Tororo that NWSC was doing all it takes to ensure steady water supply in the district.
“We are aware of the issues in Tororo and we are doing everything in our power to ensure supply in this cluster”,Eng. Amayo said.
He apologized on behalf of NWSC for the frustrations that may have been caused but however, attributed it to mudslides. He explained that the Water Plant in Manafwa was destroyed by the mudslides, but has now been reactivated.
“Very soon, some relief will come to the greater Tororo. The various ongoing projects are bound to resolve the water supply trials in Tororo cluster and the greater Eastern Region. We are not going to fold our hands. We have a supportive B.O.D, and we shall see to it that all is resolved”, .
The LC5, Hon. Okea commended the B.O.D for their contribution towards access to clean safe water in greater Tororo but requested that NWSC needs to bend the rules against drilling boreholes.
This he said concerns the dry zone in the cluster.
“Kindly make an exception for us. You can limit us to a particular number of boreholes, but make the exception”,
He also requested NWSC to consider connecting Tororo to Lake Victoria via Busia and Majanja citing the challenges facing the Manafwa line and the current intake source in Tororo which he said is small and has compelled rationing, something insufficient for the people in Tororo.
Eng. Amayo however, clarified that the corporation has no law against drilling personal boreholes but rather regulates the process.
“We have adopted a mixed model approach so that people can get the service they need”, he stressed but however, warned that such boreholes maybe disastrous if missused. He cited a situation that occured in some parts of Northern Uganda when typhoid was an epidemic. He therefore, cautioned the LC5 against looking to boreholes as a solution especially in a town as vast as Tororo.
“As you advocate for boreholes, assess it and understand the downsides”, Eng. Amayo said and added that the Lake Victoria option be put on hold until the current water source has properly been utilized.
The RDC informed the team that in an effort to tackle vandalism of NWSC properties especially in parts of Namisindwa, a task force had been put in place and was already cracking down on the vandals who he believes will be stopped at every cost.
The meeting was concluded with a call for NWSC to intervene in the waste disposal in Malaba, an issue that many officials have complained about especially on the Kenyan side. So the hope is that the Ugandan side can go ahead of the Kenyans and pilot wastewater projects in the area.
To this, Eng. Amayo promised that the NWSC team would look into it but also urged the LC5 to prioritize identifying land for a sewerage treatment plant that can cater to wastewater in the greater Tororo cluster.
“We all have a common goal. To make Uganda the best place for Ugandans and those that visit. So I hope we can work together to fulfil our promises to the people and better their livelihoods”, concluded Eng. Kigunddu.