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