Access to clean and safe drinking water is a critical challenge in Uganda, mirroring the struggles faced by many sub-Saharan African nations. To address this issue, Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has invested UGX 307 million to provide 10 hand boreholes, benefitting over 4,800 people in the Kapelebyong, Katakwi, and Bukedea districts of the North Eastern Uganda sub-region of Teso.
Soroti District Resident Commissioner Salim Komaketch accepted these boreholes on behalf of the Minister of State for Sports, Peter Ogwang. The handover ceremony took place at Olilia B village, Okungur Sub-County, Kapelebyong District, and drew attendance from Members of Parliament, chief administrative officers, and local councilors.
Komakech acknowledged the longstanding water scarcity challenges in Teso, which have forced communities to rely on unclean water sources, leading to health problems and an adverse impact on community well-being. He emphasized that this initiative underscores the positive influence of responsible corporate initiatives on society, hoping it inspires other organizations to contribute to a brighter and healthier future for all Ugandans.
Damon Ansell, Director of Corporate Relations for Africa at Diageo, UBL’s parent company, affirmed their commitment to programs that uplift the communities where they operate. He highlighted their sustainability agenda, “Society 2030: Spirit of Progress,” which focuses on creating a more inclusive and sustainable world, particularly in water-stressed areas.
Uganda, like many sub-Saharan countries, grapples with the issue of limited access to safe drinking water. According to Water.org, 83% of Uganda’s population lacks access to reliable, safely managed water sources, while 17% lack improved sanitation solutions. At the continental level, World Bank data from 2020 reveals that approximately 387 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lacked access to basic drinking water services, up from 350 million in 2000.
Juliana Kagwa, UBL’s Corporate Relations Director, reiterated the company’s dedication to the well-being of the communities within its sphere of operation. Access to clean water, Juliana emphasized, is both a basic human right and a fundamental necessity for community growth and prosperity. While improvements have been made, particularly in urban areas, many rural populations still lack access to clean water and sanitation facilities. UBL’s initiative stands as a commendable step toward empowering the people of Teso for healthier and more productive lives.
UBL has invested over Sh20 billion in various water and sanitation projects across Uganda, benefitting more than 2 million people. These projects include a Sh335 million piped water supply system in Buwali sub-county of Bududa district, which has benefited over 2,000 residents. Additionally, UBL has constructed 37 boreholes in the Acholi sub-region and implemented a Sh1 billion water and sanitation project in Bulangira, Kibuku District, in collaboration with Water Aid Uganda.
In 2022, UBL commissioned 20 boreholes, with an estimated cost of Sh560 million, to communities in the Northern and North-Eastern sub-regions of Lango and Teso. These boreholes have since improved the lives of over 9,000 people in the districts of Oyam, Lira, Kapelebyong, Katakwi, and Bukedea.