4,000 Residents in Matidi Sub County Hit By Water Crisis

The Aputubere A village LCI Chairperson Aldo, says they have struggled with water shortage for close to two years now after the only borehole had its pipes and rods worn out in around May 2019 and local residents have been unable to repair it.
A woman chases animals at the unprotected water source in Kitgum Mtidi Sub County Photo By Dan M. Komakech

Audio 4

More than 4,000 residents in Matidi Sub County, Kitgum district have been hit by water shortage. This follows the breakdown of the only borehole in Aputubere Central village that serves the population of four other neighbouring villages of Aputubere A, Mulago A, Labilo and Obyen East.

The Aputubere A village LCI Chairperson Aldo says they have struggled with water shortage for close to two years. Odong says the situation has now forced residents to share water with animals from dirty streams, posing a health risk.

 //Cue in: “lok can pii…..

Cue out: ….kit Kony mo”//

Elson Ogiki a teacher at Aputubere Primary School says teachers and learners are equally affected by the crisis which has forced them to walk for over four kilometres to access the dirty water from the unsafe water source. According to Ogiki, the situation has greatly affected learning as pupils spend most of the time accessing safe water for drinking at the expense of study time.

Scovia Atimango, a resident, says women and the elderly who opt to pursue clean water are the most affected as they have to leave their homes in the early hours of the morning and walking up to 8 minutes to fetch water from the closest source in Labilo village.

According to Atimango, efforts to repair the damaged borehole have been futile.

//Cue in: “an nyinga…..

Cue out: ….ariyo ne en”//

Benson Omoo another resident says they are concerned about not having safe water in the area for hygiene purposes, like hand washing before eating and after using the latrines which have exposed residents to water-borne diseases. Omoo says as a result of using water from unprotected sources, many cases of typhoid, bacterial infections and other water-related diseases have been registered at the nearby health centre.

//Cue in: “so since last…..

Cue out: ….we are drinking”//

The Kitgum District Chief Administrative Officer Martin Jacan Gwoktoo says that the water scarcity is a result of the rocky topography that makes it impossible to drill boreholes and the dropped water tables where boreholes yield less water or even dry up.

He also faulted local leaders for failing to channel their demands for repairing some of the dysfunctional boreholes to the water department for appropriate action.

 //Cue in: “I went to…..

Cue out: ….and filling them”//

 Gwoktoo however also calls for calm as plans are underway to expand water coverage by extending piped water to all water-stressed areas.