Ministry of Trade PS Geraldine Ssali in Anti-Corruption court dock Ministry of Trade PS Geraldine Ssali in dock at the Anti-Corruption

Mother fetching water to raise Shs2m for her child’s surgery

Ms Resty Nakawuka, a resident of Lusanja Village in Katikamu Sub-county, Luweero District, with her daughter Margaret Namwanga. 

For one month now, Ms Resty Nakawuka, a resident of Lusanja Village in Katikamu Sub-county, Luweero District, has been fetching water for area residents at a cost, in order to raise Shs2m to pay for her child’s operation.

For Shs300 per jerrycan, the 34-year-old walks a distance of about 500 metres from her home to a community borehole to fetch water, which she carries on her head to the homes where she sells it. She earns about Shs3,500 per day and she has so far raised Shs52,000.

Ms Nakawuka’s child, Margaret Namwanga, was born without genitalia. 

At three years of age, the child can say a few words, walk and play with other children although she is generally weak and her growth is a bit slow. 

The mother of four says when she gave birth, the child could not pass stool or urine. The baby’s stomach started swelling as a result. She sought treatment at Mulago National Referral Hospital where an operation was carried out, which left some of the child’s internal organs and a urinary canal exposed on her stomach.

“After the operation, the doctors told me that the first operation was meant to offer temporary relief to enable her pass the stool and urine and that another operation would be performed when the child gains 10kg. She has gained the weight,” Ms Nakawuka says.

Ms Nakawuka adds that although the doctors at Mulago told her the operation to have the child’s private parts restored was free, she was asked to raise Shs2m for buying requirements to be used in the exercise, which money she doesn’t have.

Her husband has since disappeared from home leaving her in a rented one-room house for which she pays Shs40,000 per month.

Initially, her husband paid rent until he vanished from home and a Good Samaritan offered to pay the rent for five months.

“At first, I was earning a living from digging in people’s gardens plus washing clothes at a fee,” she says. 

Ms Nakawuka dropped out of school in Primary Seven. At 13, she started doing odd jobs and at 16, she claims to have been married with two children. From her second marriage, she sired two children including Namwanga.

 Ms Nakawuka says cleaning the child and washing her clothes is very costly.

While her child’s condition is depressing, she is optimistic that she will get better when she is operated on. 

Since the child needs extra care, Ms Nakawuka carries her on her back while fetching water. By the end of the year, she hopes to raise enough money from fetching water to enable Nawanga’s second operation. 

Ms Nakawuka can be reached on 0788621870.