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Valley Dam Turns into Death Trap

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Yorokamu Gakyalo, the chairperson of the area Project Management Committee, says the open dam makes communities around it susceptible to drowning.
Part of the Kagamba Bulky Water Project dam which has become a threat to lives of people who fetch water from it

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A bulky water project started by government to address water scarcity in Rakai district has turned into a death trap for humans and livestock.

In 2012, government through the Water and Sanitation Development Facility chose Rakai district to benefit from a Shillings 17billion water project to address persistent water scarcity in Ddwaniro, Kagamba and Lwamaggwa Sub counties whose hilly landscape don’t support the sinking of shallow wells and boreholes.

The project that was implemented under the Water and Environment Ministry stalled in 2014. The contractor abandoned the huge valley dam had been excavated in Kiyumbakimu village in Kirangira Parish in Kagamba sub county. 

 

Johnston Muhiirwe, a resident of Kiyumbakimu village says the dam poses a serious a threat to animals and humans. 

He says due to the acute water scarcity in the area, communities are using the open dam as their main source of water for animals and domestic consumption.   

Muhiirwe says several people and animals have drowned in the dam in pursuit of water. 

According to Muhiirwe, at least four people, ten cows and several goats have drowned in the dam since this year begun.

Yorokamu Gakyalo, the chairperson of the area Project Management Committee, says the open dam makes communities around it susceptible to drowning.

Gakyalo says they expected the contractor to fence off the dam but he just abandoned the site, adding that their pleas to the authorities to act haven’t yielded the desired results.

He says besides people who fetch water directly from the dam, it is equally dangerous to by-passers because it is so close to the community pathway. 

     

//Cue in: “obulabe ebirina…… 

  Cue out; ……..nekisigala nga kiganye.”// 

 

Gakyalo says they are afraid that the dam may claims more lives especially of children whose parents are still reluctant on their safety.

  

//Cue in: “era buli kaseera…..       

Cue out; …..nga afudde.”//

Engineer Francis Muwanga, the Rakai District Water Officer, says they haven’t received reports about the deaths. 

He says the district leadership is looking up to government to complete the project. 

He has challenged the local leadership to take full charge of the dam and ensure safety residents as they wait for government support.