Shs29m Borehole saves community from water burden

Shs29m Borehole saves community from water burden

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi 

MARACHA. The residents of Nyori village in Robu parish, Oleba sub-county in Maracha district are breathing a sigh of relief after the construction of a hand pump borehole in the area.

The Shs29.4m (about 7,000 Euros) Women led community borehole was a donation to the locals by a Diocese in Germany.

This is after Aliamu women’s group in Nyori village applied for the project so as to reduce the water burden in the village.

Aliamu women’s group was started by a group of 20 village women in 2021 with the main target of addressing challenges facing the Women in the village ranging from access to safe and clean water, improving household incomes, cooking energy needs among others, through savings.

One of the shallow wells from which residents used to fetch water before the construction of the new borehole. Photo by Andrew Cohen Amvesi

To date, the number has grown to over 30 women who are actively involved in group activities like savings and subsistence farming.

However, most women in the village spend most of their time in search of water from unprotected water sources which also comes with the challenge of water borne diseases.

As a result, Aliamu women with support from Weltkirche Bistum Mainz, a Diocese in Germany secured a funding of 7,000 Euros after being linked by one of their own Missionary Son, Rev. Fr. Dr. John Mary Inziku to construct the one-hand pump borehole.

Speaking during the commissioning of the borehole over the weekend, Hellen Lekuru, the chairperson of Aliamu women’s group said the borehole will save the community in Nyori and other neighboring villages from water related disease burden.

Rev. Fr. Peter Debo speaks to journalists before blessing the new borehole. Photo by Andrew Cohen Amvesi

“The borehole we had in this village was-ever breaking down and as a result, we used to fetch water from shallow wells and rivers. This exposed us to dangers of contracting water borne diseases such as Diarrhea and Cholera. We also used to delay at water points especially when there are many people but we are now happy that all these challenges have ended with the commissioning of this borehole. I want to thank our donors very much for coming to our rescue,” Lekuru said.

She further said in future, they intend to extend piped water right from the borehole to homesteads in Nyori village so that the women can get safe and clean water at their homes and save time to do other work as they strive for socio economic development of the village.

“With electricity extended to the village by the government, this water from the bore-hole will be pumped into a tank and then distributed to the homesteads as tap water in the near future. This water project will promote women empowerment, greatly improve the well-being of the women and the community in Nyori village and other surrounding villages as a whole,” Lekuru explained.

She said the women will continue to pursue more projects and donations from the government, well-wishers and NGOs so as to enhance their effort in improving the lives of women and children in the village and the parish as a whole.

Alfred Wadribo, a founder member of Aliamu women group and the spokesperson for the group commended the Women for their tireless efforts amidst economic hardships to ensure that the women are mobilized to work together.

He encouraged the women to continue cooperating with the local governments and work hard so as to achieve their dream of having piped water in their homes.

James Anguzu, the health assistant at Oleba health center III said the current challenge in Oleba sub-county is the issue of sanitation and WASH.

“Currently in Oleba sub-county, we have an estimated clean water coverage of 43 percent which is less than 50 percent. Going to the issue of sanitation, we have a very poor coverage which also gives us around 57 percent. So, we need to improve this,” Anguzu said.

“One of the improvements is through having clean sources of water and when we get this kind of donor support, we feel so grateful and we are hopeful that it is going to support us. Going forward, this newly constructed borehole is going to improve what is available here. This has come handy and we welcome it and we are going to make sure we improve the current sanitation coverage and water related functionality in this place,” Anguzu added.

He promised to organize a training for the water user communities to orient them and make sure they sustain the water source.

Ronald Musema, the Oleba sub-county chairperson said as Oleba sub-county, they welcome the project because they still have a lot to do when it comes to clean water coverage in the sub-county.

“As a sub-county, we have less than 50 percent clean water coverage, so when this kind of offer comes to boost our water coverage, we are very thankful. As Oleba, we have a small budget for water projects and in most cases to drill new boreholes, it becomes very difficult for us. As a sub-county, we only received one borehole from the district this financial year and yet we have very many villages without clean water. So, when we see such kinds of projects coming, we appreciate and we shall make sure that the community protects what has been given,” Musema said.

While blessing the borehole during the commissioning ceremony, Rev. Fr. Peter Debo, the Executive Secretary for a Doctrine of the Faith at the Uganda Catholic Secretariat said the project is a great contribution and a great job done by friends in Germany.

“I think Fr. Inziku made a great contribution by soliciting support so that such a project like the one of water is brought here to help the people who would not otherwise have afforded. This is typically after the example of St. Paul VI who worked for those who were needy, so I give him a very big score,” Fr. Debo said.

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