More than 20 workers contracted to dig trenches for the extension of water supply to different parts of Lyantonde district are protesting the delayed payment of their wages.
The group was hired by National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) to dig trenches for the planned extension of clean piped water to Kalegero, Kiyinda, Kaliiro and to other parts of Lyantonde that are battling scarcity of water. Currently, clean piped water is only accessible in Lyantonde Town Council and Lyantonde Rural, out of the seven that make up the district.
On Friday, the workers stormed the office the District Water Manager protesting delayed payments of their wages, poor working conditions and breach of contract.
The workers say that National Water and Sewerage Corporation had committed to weekly payments for their services. They, however, add that they have not received any pay for the last two months, a period of eight consecutive weeks. Although they could not provide a breakdown of payments, their leader Simon Kamusiime says that the money has now accumulated to nine million Shillings.
//Cue in; "Kati saawa zino….
Cue out...Batusasule, Batusasule"//
Patrick Aliga, the Lyantonde, NWSC District Branch manager says that they have resolved to make partial payments to the workers, and halt the works as the Corporation makes arrangements to offset the bill.
//Cue in; “Ffe nga area...
Cue out...nga baddayo' ko."//
Lyantonde District Police Commander Asiimwe Richard has asked the workers to stay calm and cautioned them against breaking the law in pursuit of the arrears. Asiimwe was responding to threats by some of the workers who wanted to disconnect water supply to some parts of the district, in vengeance.
//Cue in; "Ekitongole n'ekinkakasa…
Cue out… kitya kwonna kati.”//
Lyantonde district has been hit by severe water shortages arising out of persistent power blackouts. As a result, the cost of water has been doubled from 500 to 1000 Shillings for a 20-litre Jerrycan.