Bala sub-county, Kole – For years when they were surviving on unsafe water for use, and from unprotected sources, section of residents in Kole district can now smile.
According to some residents, the water crisis was making them “unstable and not concentrating fully in with garden works.”
Ms Pamela Ajok, a resident of Ocodonyor village, Amoilela parish, Bala sub-county confirms this to TND News, Tuesday.
“Lack of water had made [me] women not to concentrate very well in garden works because we were looking for it first then after we go to the garden when we are tried and cannot do anything,” she says.
Equally, Nelson Opio, the chairperson LC1, Ocodonyor village in Amoilela parish said: “Women here are fetching water at night even at 11:00 pm. At11:00 pm you find them still looking for water for cooking and other domestic use. Lack of water is bringing a lot of domestic violence between families.”
Also, Mary Ayo, 49, a resident of Aumidani village, Western Ward parish, said water is not enough in the area women go to look, adding: “We come back home very late and when we come back late, our husbands think we have gone to another men.”
“During dry season women in Kole face a lot of burden looking for water because some swamps dry up,” she told TND News Tuesday.
Mr Samuel Opio, the local council 1 chairperson of Alumidani village said “several families have been drinking water which is not safe for a long time in my area due to lack of clean water.”
“Cases of typhoid disease and other water borne diseases was also escalating in the area due water crisis,” he added.
“Women in my area are trekking about 5km to look for water. Here, instead of women going to the garden in the morning then after they look for water, they go for water first and after go to the garden when they are vey tried,” the local leader further said.
He also says when (women) come back home from the garden “they cannot prepare food quickly for the families.”
Maxwell Obua, the Chairperson LC3 Bala sub-county said the water coverage level is still very low, revealing “people are experiencing challenges of water yet the number of people is increasing daily.”
“According to the 2014 population and housing census, Bala has about 48,000 people. But right now we are around 58,000 people. And these big number needs water because water is life,” the sub-county leader said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Kole district LC5 vice chairperson Mr Alfonse Araca, said: “The district has about 460,000 people with about 1116 villages, 50 parishes, 6 sub-counties and 5 town councils. We are still facing a very big challenge of water in the district. Women fetch water from the swamp.”
Patrict Ocen, the Kole district Water Officer, however, said the district is always financially constraint because they have limited fund to ensure that water reach all the communities in the district.
“Bala and Okwerodot are the least served sub-counties and we cannot do much because of inadequate funds. What government gives is too
little,” Mr Ocen tells TND News.
Because of these challenges, JF Well Works Africa, a non-governmental organisation has drilled 48 boreholes worth Shs400m in Bala sub-county, Kole district to address issues of water crisis.
The President of JF Well Works Africa, Mr John Folly said: “Because of the challenges of safe and clean water the community are facing, it touches my heart to put some intervention in the area so as people have access to safe and clean water for domestic use because we want to improve the health of the communities in northern Uganda.”
“We have drilled 48 boreholes worth Shs400m here in Bala. So communities should keep these 48 water sources for your grandkids. Areas, which have not got water we will try our best to bring a lot more water. We will research you. We want everyone to drink safe and clean water,” Mr Folly said while addressing the locals at Aumidani
village, Western Ward A, Bala sub-county on Tuesday.