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Multi-Billion Water System Dries Up After A Year

The 30 billion Shillings pipe water system installed in Orom Sub-County has become unreliable, a year after commissioning.

In 2019, the Ministry of Water and Environment signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Orom Sub-County and with financial support from the African Development Bank contracted China States Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd to install the first phase of the water scheme.

In 2021, the Ministry commissioned the water scheme sending a sigh of relief among residents, especially in Orom Sub-County. The residents were relieved that they would finally rest from the acute water shortage necessitated by the location of the sub-county along the dry belt of the Karamoja region.

However, there are complaints that the water source is unreliable because of intermittent water supply, while in some places, the water no longer flows. Patrick Ocira, a resident of Orom said the water system has not been working in some areas although the work was purportedly completed.  Ocira cited Kalabong village in Namokora sub-county where residents have spent two weeks without water.

Richard Kilama, the Kitgum District Works and Technical Services Secretary who doubles as Namukora Town Council LC V councilor, says the complaints of the faulty pipe water scheme are all over.

“It is true there are some villages where they have already finished the work but as you go now on the ground there is no water, I don’t understand why because the cry is everywhere. When you go to Namukora and Namukora North people are just crying,” Kilama said.

Willy Picho, the Kitgum district Water Officer, said that he has received complaints and suspects that the problem could be with the pumping system or pipe network. He called for more assessment to ascertain the exact cause of the problem.

Alex Cwinyaai, a sociologist in the Ministry of Water and Environment, acknowledged the fault with the pipe water system and advised the district water office to always involve the extension workers so that they get concerns from the users earlier enough.

Emmanuel Ameda, the Assistant Water Officer in charge of mobilization in Kitgum district, says that the problem of the faulty water system arose from the Ministry of Water and Environment, which ignored his department.

“The only problem we have been facing is people from the Ministry bypassing the department of water in the district. You find them already on the ground without the district officials. That is why some of the projects are not monitored well,” Ameda said.

The water project consists of 6 mini-solar power pump stations in Katwotwo, Lakwanya, Agoromin, and Agoromin City in the Orom sub-county, Kalabong Village in Namokora Sub County, and Pudo in Mucwini Sub-county.

-URN

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