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Uganda, September 2013: Motorised water brings joy to Moruita sub-county

By Charles-Martin Jjuuko

Harriet Namono, a 34-year old mother of three, has lived and worked in Chesabuni village, Moruita sub-county, in Karamoja’s Nakapiripirit district, most of her adulthood.  During this time, access to clean water has been a serious challenge in the village.

“We have been drawing our water from a seasonal stream,” says Harriet. “The water is not always clean and our children have been picking up diseases from it.”

Recently, however, the lives of Harriet and the 2,800 people in her village changed for the better after the Government of Uganda launched a UNICEF-supported motorised water project to supply clean water sustainably.  The water project, funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, was launched amidst joyful singing, cheering and dancing by dozens of children.

The change of fortune followed the identification of a borehole and subsequent installation of a submersible pump, with the capacity to discharge 6,000 litres per hour.  Under the same water project, a 50,000 litre reservoir tank was installed, along with 2.7 kilometres of a distribution pipeline. The water system has five public stand posts, each with four taps, serving as distribution points, as well as two control-valve chambers to ease operation and maintenance needs.

Moruita sub-county shall own, manage, control the assets of the water system and supply water to the beneficiary community through a performance contract with the Ministry of Water and Environment.

“We chose this place because, in Karamoja, it is not easy to get boreholes that produce such amount of water,” says Victor Iditemany, Assistant Engineering Officer for Nakapiripirit district. “We also opted for solar power to make the project much more sustainable because Karamoja has sunshine every day,” he adds.

The Minister for Karamoja, First Lady Janet Museveni, who launched the motorised water system, thanked the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and UNICEF for supporting the project and encouraged the beneficiaries to use it guardedly.

UNICEF Deputy Representative in Uganda, May Anyabolu, said the project adopted an innovative approach to providing water to communities in need. She urged the community and district officials to co-operate to ensure that all major stakeholders maintain the system is properly.

Ruben Wanyama, Chairperson of Chesabuni Local Council, noted that the abundance of water in the fertile Chesabuni village offered a new opportunity to water vegetables during the dry seasons, which would improve livelihoods in the area.

For Harriet Namono, who is also the vice-chairperson of the Moruita Water and Sanitation Board, the joy of having continuous access to clean water was hard to hide.

“We are using clean water for all our needs now. Water-borne diseases shall be eliminated in this area and we shall use the time we have been using to go to hospitals for housework and gardening,” she concludes with a bright smile.

 

 
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