The Kingfisher Development Area host communities in Kyangwali Sub-county, Kikuube District have hope for safe water after completion of the gravity water flow scheme on River Masika.
Speaking at the official handover, the Buhuka Communal Land Association (BUCOLA) Chairperson, Mr Isa Byaruhanga, said communities have been prone to cholera due to lack of clean and safe water.
“We are very happy for this achievement because we have been relying on untreated water from Lake Albert or the old gravity water scheme that directly abstracted River water and supplied without treatment,” he said.
The water scheme constructed by SAMKA Construction Co. Ltd has the capacity to supply 7,500 litres per day to more than 10,000 residents.
The beneficiary villages include Nsunzu A, Nsunzu B, Nsonga A, Nsonga B and Kyakapere.
Eng Sam Kajojo, the Managing Director SAMKA Construction Co. Ltd, recommended the community through the user committees to contribute some money for sustainability.
“I recommend that they charge at least Shs50 per 20-litre jerry can. I think that is manageable and if you calculate they can collect at least Shs9m per month to cater for all running costs and save some income for other activities and investments of their choice,” said Eng Kajojo.
He said at least Shs4m will be needed to run the water scheme per month including the cost of treatment and payment of the management staff.
Three young men from Buhuka community have been trained and employed to take care of the project at the scheme.
The Kikuube District Chairman, Mr Peter Banura, who was the chief guest urged the community members to own the water scheme and recognise it as a fruit of oil discovery in Buhuka.
He pledged to cooperate with all stakeholders to ensure safe and clean water supply sustainability.
Mr Sam Mugisa, the Social Affairs Coordinator at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), said as the industry regulator, they remain ready to scrutinise and support any pro-community development project proposals.
“We shall never relent to approve projects that address community needs. We need you healthy and alive to make local content a reality. To us, this project adds on the many oil induced developments. Let us work together to support the industry for the benefit of all Ugandans,” he said.
Mr Mugisa shared the memories of descending the escarpment on foot before Ikamiro-Buhuka road opening as bothersome which has been rolled to history by the oil industry.
Mr Chen Zhoubao, the President China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) – the Kingfisher project developer and funder of the launched water scheme, congratulated Buhuka community upon supporting the project.
He also credited SAMKA Construction Co. Ltd for the timely execution of the contract and ensuring quality work.
Mr Zakalia Lubega, the Head of Corporate Affairs at CNOOC Uganda Limited, explained the sustainability strategy of the water scheme.
The scheme is established under CNOC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)) meaning the funds will be recovered by the company from the government share of the proceeds when production starts.