Residents of Nansana Municipality in Wakiso District are excited after receiving solar powered water pumps aimed at easing access to safe water in 24 villages in the area.
Under the Rotary Global Grant facility, the more than 10,000 residents will be provided with solar water pumps, 10 roof-top water harvesting tanks and five ventilated improved pit-latrine facilities.
The benefitting parishes include Kavule, Mwererwe, Wabbale and Gombe.
In Wakiso, safe water coverage remains a challenge with a total access at 43 per cent.
Speaking to Saturday Monitor during the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, the Wakiso District LC5 chairperson, Mr Matiya Lwanga Bwanika said the intervention by the Rotary Clubs of Wobulenzi, Muyenga and Kamwewa are a wake up call to both the central government and Wakiso District Local Government on the priority service delivery areas.
“We still have a challenge as duty bearers in availing clean water sources to a bigger section of our residents. We need to encourage the population to jealously guard the safe water sources through protecting the environment. We also need to mobilise the population to own up the facilities for purposes of sustainability.”
He added: “The solar facilities are a big boost to the Wakiso whose safe water coverage is below 50 per cent on average.”
Mr Bulasiyo Ssentongo, the Busikiiri village chairperson, where the major solar water pump is located said the intervention will not only aid supply of safe water to the community but ensure that young girls and women who trek long distances to access water for domestic use are shielded from sexual abuse.
“We have registered cases of young girls defiled while some women have been raped as they walk through the swampy and forested areas in search of water for domestic use. Though the residents will pay some little money to access the clean water, the dangers of having our children defiled will reduce,” he said.
Mr Ssentongo revealed that water will be accessed at kiosks located in open spaces.
Ms Josephine Nalwadda, a resident of Galamba Village in Gombe Division, who treks a distance of 3kms to access water from a community water spring said the intervention will save them time wasted crowding at the water springs.
“We waste a lot of time that could be allocated to productive projects because of the long distances and the long queue at the water springs. This is a big achievement for our village,” Nalwadda said.
Dr Kenny Mugisha, the Muyenga Rotary Club Past president, revealed that the Rotary Global Grant facility supported by other partners, including the Rotary clubs of Vienna and Carlgary in Canada, target safe and clean water coverage in communities.
He added that their intervention in Wakiso District is worth Shs314m.
“Rotary works with local communities to ensure service delivery to the less fortunate in society. We urge the residents to team up with the community leaders for sustainability of the water facilities,” Mr Mugisha told residents of Kyamuweebwa Village on Thursday.
Statistics from the water department at Wakiso District indicate that rural access to safe water is at 28 per cent while the district has 4,286 domestic water points that serve a population of 1,064,031.
A total of 733 water points have been nonfunctional for more than five years and are considered abandoned. The district has four piped water schemes that majorly serve a section of the urbanised population.