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Water Scarcity Inciting Sexual Abuse of Teenage Girls in Luwero

Bukiibi village Chairman Pontian Katumba says that the problem has not only affected the access to water for use, but it has now threatened the sexual health of the girls who are not going to school due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown of schools.

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The prolonged water scarcity in Kamira Sub-County & Kamira Town Council in Luwero district, is laying ground for sexual abuse of underage girls, local authorities have lamented. 

Kamira Sub-County with its neighbor Kamira Town Council share borders with Nakasongola district, a Cattle corridor that always experiences a long dry spell. Most of the residents in this area are currently depending on valley dams to draw water for domestic use. 

The LC 1 Chairperson of Bukiibi village in Katagwe Parish, Kamira Sub-County, Pontian Katumba, tells Uganda Radio Network (URN) that he is in charge of 680 families with a total population of 3,300 people who all depend on a single borehole for relatively clean & safe water. 

Katumba says that the the ever long queues from early morning to late evening forceds people to fetch water from the valley dams to survive, but this is shared by their livestock, rendering it completely unsafe for domestic use.

Bukiibi village Chairman Pontian Katumba says that the problem has not only affected the access to water for use, but it has now threatened the sexual health of the now non-schooling girls, ander the the COVID-19 induced lockdown on schools. 

This, he explains that it has been taken advantage of by the unscrupulous men who have impregnated a number of them after they intercept them as they walk distances to the lone borehole and indulge them in irresponsible sexual behaviors. 

Daniel Kyaterekera, the Kamira Sub-County Councilor concurs with Bukiibi village boss Katumba.  According to Kyaterekera, as area leaders they are helpless given the huge investment required to address the problem. Kyaterekera wants both the water ministry & the Office of the Prime Minister to come on ground and study the problem for appropriate intervention. 

Joseph Kanyike, the Luwero district water engineer says that as a department, they have only hit 40 per cent success  in addressing the water problem in both Kamira Town Council & Kamira Sub-County.  Kanyike tells URN that most of the areas in Kamira have a low water table, so they have only managed to construct one borehole. According to Engineer Kanyike, the problem prompted their switching to the construction of Valley tanks, but these remain an unsafe source for the populace. 

When asked how they could help this area to also have access to clean & safe water, Ronald Kisaakye, the Manager for the National Water & Sewerage Corporation -NWSC Luwero branch tells URN that they cannot help now because the line ministry which is that of Water & Environment is yet to gazette the area.Luganda Audio

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