By Walukhu Simon Peter STEP FM/NECJOGHA
Mbale, Uganda – The eastern Uganda town of Mbale is grappling with water scarcity mainly caused by the ever increasing population.
In Nakaloke town council, a suburb of Mbale, during the population census that was carried out in 2010 it had a population of 27,972 people but it’s now estimated to have more than 30,000 residents according to Mary Nambuya the senior health inspector of the town council.
Budala Odoch a resident of Nabitende ward in Nakaloke town council says that apart from the unprotected wells, they have only three boreholes in the area but the population is too high.
The Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) under the rural water and sanitation program constructed a booster that was constructed around that place to help pump up water to those areas but it benefits those who can afford to pay for tap water.
A jerrycan of water is sold at 300/- during the rainy season but goes up to between 500/- to 700/- during the dry season which many residents of areas like Nakaloke cannot afford. Borehole water is free but residents have to contribute 6,000/- per month for their maintenance.
Juma Mageni another resident says during the dry season they move long distances looking for the water.
“We have approached the authorities at the town council but they have always been telling us that there is no money,” he said.
Nambuya says that the town council is developing at a very high speed and as authorities they have tried to ensure safe clean water in the town council as from different sources like springs, wells, boreholes and National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has also extended its grid to the town council but the water lines are yet to penetrate beyond the main road.