Water Crisis Grips West Nile Sub-region

Challenges Persist in Access to Clean Water in West Nile Region
Challenges Persist in Access to Clean Water in West Nile Region
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For years, people in West Nile Sub-region have had trouble getting clean and safe water.

One woman, Ms. Joyce Adia, has been using water from River Enyau in Terego District all her life. The river is not clean; people and animals use it, and it’s where people bathe.

Ms. Adia and others want leaders to solve the water problem for homes and farming. They’ve paid taxes for years and want things like valley dams and irrigation facilities, like in other places.

Ms. Emily Drijaru, who lives in Madi-Okollo, says people in remote areas have it harder. They don’t have piped water, so kids, especially girls, miss school because they spend time fetching water from streams. The growing population makes it even harder to find clean water.

Recently, leaders and organizations met to find answers to the water problem in West Nile, especially during dry times.

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Dr. George Didi Bhoka, an MP, says the people should ask Parliament for help with water. He says water is important for farming.

Even though the government has built some water points, 66 percent of Uganda has clean water, and many rural areas still use unsafe sources.


Emmanuel Wafula of Action Aid–Uganda says not having clean water causes more violence at home, kids dropping out of school, and not enough food.

Robert Omito, head of Pakwach District, says they rely on rain, and that’s not enough. They need technology to get water from deep underground.

Dominic Iranya, the water officer for Obongi District, says budget cuts make it hard to get clean water. People have to walk far to get water and spend a long time waiting, which stops them from working.

Obongi District only gets between Shs300 million and Shs400 million each year for water, which isn’t enough. The district has 52,000 people.


Geoffrey Abara, assistant water officer for Pakwach District, says they need motorized solar-powered water projects. The soil is hard for drilling boreholes, so they need to look for sandy river areas.

In Uganda, there are 138,663 places to get water, but some don’t work. About 23.8 million people in rural areas need better water sources. Uganda also has 1,211 piped water systems.

Globally, 2.2 billion people still don’t have clean water, according to a report from the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Many people also don’t have hand-washing places at home.

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