Kole women wake up in wee hours, walking miles for clean water



Kole – The Acodonyor village LC1 chairperson, Mr. James Okello said the area still lacks safe water sources and because of that it’s causing domestic violence in the households.

“We are appealing to the government and its partners to give us safe water if possible. Because we have so many people here including young children,” he told TND News on Monday.

For Nancy Akello, 26, resident of Ocodonyor village, Kole do, she wakes up very early in the morning every day about 5:00am and pick her jerrycans to go and fetch water.

She adds she must trek long distance of about 10km to look for clean water for domestic use.

“All my body parts are painful. When I come back from fetching water I feel so tired that I could not even prepare food for my husband and children because the water is very far,” she says.

Akello added: “In June last year, we lost our 10 year-old very handsome baby boy to typhoid as a result of taking contaminated water. Water is a very big crisis in the district.”

Ms. Molly Acen, a resident of the same village said in January this year, a 15 year old girl was raped while she had gone to fetch water about 10km away from home.

“A 15 year old girl was raped while she had gone to fetch water about 10km away from home. She was raped at around 6:00 am and she was raped as she was returning home,” Acen said, on Monday.

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According to Lifewater Organisation survey in 2017, about 61 percent of Ugandans lack access to safe water and 75 percent do not have access to improved sanitation facilities.

The survey also indicated that the Uganda water crisis is serious but can be solved.

The survey further reveals that nearly 24 million people were living without access to clean water and more than 29 million people were living without access to improved sanitation, and about 2.5 million people are still practicing open defecation. 

The most seriously affected and vulnerable people live in rural-hard to reach places.

However, according to The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report of 2017, about 663 million people worlwide were lacking improved drinking water sources.

To address the issue of water crisis in Lango, JF Well Works Africa, a non-profit non-governmental organisation has built 100 wells in Lango sub-region in the sub-counties of Okwerodot, Bala and Ngetta
respectively.

The 100 wells were built at a cost of $200,000 since 2018 to improve the health of the local communities in the sub-region.

The President, JF Well Works Africa, Mr. John Foley, said: “We have built 100 wells in the sub-counties of Okwerodot, Bala and Ngetta. We have spent $200,000. Our target is to build more 450 wells at $300,000. Our plan for the next five years is to build 500 wells at UGX5billion.”

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“We believe we have reached the needy communities who have suffered war for more than two decades. There has been a great change in the communities with our intervention. Health has been improved,” Mr. Foley said.

“Right now, we are targeting the whole of Lango. When we are done with Lango, we hope to move to Eastern Uganda where there is also need for clean water,” he added.

Mr Foley added: “According to statistic with the Ministry of Water and Environment, the lowest coverage is in Kole do where we are right now. The second lowest is Apac which we want to attack after Kole District.”

“We have a budget and the proposed estimate budget for five years. According to our budget we proposed to work in Lira as being a mother district we cannot leave it and Kole, but our target is reach the area
with the lowest water coverage to improve the health of the communities,” he explained.


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