Water crisis hits Hoima West Division, international organisation intervenes

A resident of Kijogo Cell, Kibiingo Ward in West Division, Hoima City, pumps water from a just commissioned borehole in the area on Friday, January 13, 2023. (Image: Joseph Uzelle/Kazi-njema News)

Ever since Hoima was elevated to city status, it has experienced population growth that has stressed water sources in some parts, especially Kijogo Cell in Kibiingo Ward, West Division.

Population movements from rural areas coupled with the founding of educational establishments bringing in learners from different parts of Hoima and the neighbouring districts have contributed to the already existing pressure exertion on water sources in the area.

Being affected, residents of Kijogo are coerced to draw water from the neighbouring River Wambabya yet it is unclean for human use.

Out of the population of 678 residents of Kijogo, Ruyanja and Kibiingo cells excluding students, 212 have for long suffered accessing clean water for domestic use, according to the Kijogo Cell chairman, Mr Julius Kyaligonza, the infrastructure host.

He discloses that water scarcity has been a challenge in the area with especially women at the centre of suffering given their daily chores at home.

Ms Sarah Kaahwa, a resident of Kijogo says she used to find trouble accessing water as the entire cell queued up at one water source.

But now that Think Humanity – an international organisation has constructed them a borehole, longer queues at water sources will reduce especially during this dry season when water is needed badly.

“It hasn’t been easy accessing water in this area as all residents eyed the only one down there. The moment one got that for drinking, then one could go to River Wambabya to get water for other domestic uses like washing in general,” she says.

L-R:DrRuyonga (in strip jacket), Mr Kaboyo and Mr Kyomuhendo (in blue shirt) cut a ribbon at the commissioning of a borehole at Kijogo Cell. (Image: Joseph Uzelle/Kazi-njema News)

Mr John Biingi, a resident of Kibiingo cell that is also using the same source, says the borehole is a sigh of relief to the community as it will lessen the struggle for water.

However, he highlights the need for the residents to handle the borehole delicately since, though it is a donation, it cost colossal sums of money to construct and will require funds for repair once it breaks down.

“I request my fellow residents to handle the borehole properly to avoid breaking down before long and also always contribute funds for its maintenance and repair without ado whenever need arises because it is a multimillion infrastructure that can’t be easily got,” he urges.

The Division Councillor representing Kibiingo Ward, Mr George Kirya, says following the strong need for a water source, upon receiving news that the Martinson philanthropic family based in Melbourne, Florida in the US wanted to donate a borehole to the community in the area, one of the residents only identified as Pedro offered part of his land for the cause at no cost.

He says being a humanitarian-based infrastructure, it will also be used free of charge to meet people’s daily demand for clean water in their homes.

Men enjoy roasted goat meat after the commissioning of a borehole at Kijogo Cell in Kibiingo Ward, West Division, Hoima City on Friday, January 13, 2023. (Image: Joseph Uzelle/Kazi-njema News)

Mr Robert Kyomuhendo, the Mayor Hoima West Division, reveals that Kijogo is one of the areas in his constituency that has been battling with clean water scarcity for home consumption.

He says despite the construction of the borehole, more need to be sunk given the geographical vastness of the area.

He advises the residents to establish a water source committee to ensure proper use of the borehole lest they slip back into the previous water source shortage; a situation that affects their health and financial stands.

Audio: Kyomuhendo on water (Runyoro/Rutooro)

The Hoima City Mayor, Mr Brian Kaboyo, says sinking boreholes will at the moment be an alternative of providing clean water to city dwellers since the National Water and Sewerage Corporation currently does not have any blueprint of connecting cells at the periphery of the city to the national grid.

He says the borehole should be cost-free and accessed by all since water is indispensable at any time of the day.

Dr Joseph Ruyonga, the area Member of Parliament, urges his constituents to make use of the borehole to observe personal and community hygiene and sanitation to avoid contracting diseases transmitted through uncleanness.

Being a physician, Dr Ruyonga says poor hygiene and sanitation is a conduit for avoidable disease transmissions advising that once observed, cleanliness reduces disease burden that deprives families of money and good health and drains national treasury through procuring drugs for avoidable illnesses.

This was at the commissioning of a borehole at Kijogo cell in Kibiingo ward, West Division, Hoima City on Friday.


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