Sigh of relief as Ministry, District officials commission Biacici valley tank in Arua

Sigh of relief as Ministry, District officials commission Biacici valley tank in Arua

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi

ARUA. It was all excitement in Biacici village, Ajia sub-county in Arua district as locals gathered to witness the historic commissioning of a 20,000 cubic metre (about 20 million litre) capacity Biacici valley tank.


Locals were seen dancing and ululating in excitement when the ministry of water and environment (MWE) officials through water for production regional centre – North handed over the facility to Arua district leaders for management on Thursday March 7, 2024.

To Grace Lekuru, a resident of Biacici village, the launch of the multi-million facility has marked the end of water scarcity she has been experiencing in the area.


“I’m very excited today that the government is officially commissioning this dam here. We have been suffering a lot due to water scarcity in this area. I used to wake up at dawn to go and look for water, 4km away from my home and I used to take more than two hours to get a jerrycan of water from either Ayayia, Falago or Aca River and this made life very difficult for me and my family. Now that the dam is here, I’m so grateful to the government for thinking about us,” Lekuru said.


Janet Anderu another resident also expressed gratitude to the ministry of water and environment for thinking of constructing a dam in their village because families have divorced and animals have been dying due to lack of a nearby source of water.

“Some times women used to fight at water sources and in most cases, when they delay, their husbands develop mistrust in them, hence resulting in domestic violence and divorce. Things have really been hard for us here but I thank God that we have finally got water available with us here,” Anderu said while dancing in excitement.


The shs350m Biacici valley tank was constructed by the ministry of water and environment through the water for production department which is mandated to promote the development of cost effective and sustainable water supply and water management for increased production and modernization of agriculture.

According to Ismail Ssali, the site engineer from MWE, the Biacici valley tank work commenced in 2019, but was delayed due to Covid-19 lockdown related challenges.

He noted that the Biacici valley tank project has a component of a reservoir, abstraction system, service structures which include cattle troughs and a tap stand and auxiliary structures among others.


During the function, Alex Onzima Abidinego, the Biacici village chairperson joined his subjects in thanking the ministry of water and environment for coming to their rescue.

“I’m so glad that this water project has finally come to my area. This is a testimony that God has helped His suffering community with water. We suffered a lot here because of inadequate water. Actually, during the dry season, we always tend to lose animals because of lack of water. Even us human beings who are supposed to use water would become sick when there is no water. The water we often use is in such a way that if you move with a dog, the dog will lick, the cattle will drink it and also the human being will fetch the same water,” Onzima explained.

“Sometimes we go to fetch water at 3:00am and we come back at 9:00am. It makes children reach school late because they are searching for water. It also used to bring domestic violence because husbands think their wives are being loved by other men at the water source. We therefore, thank God for the wisdom of selecting Biacici for this project of water,” Onzima added.

In his remarks, Eng. Kato Kayizzi, the Commissioner water for production assured the community that the water is not safe for drinking directly, but encouraged them to first boil it before drinking to avoid contracting water borne diseases.

“We pledge as a government that if you sustainably operate and manage this facility well, we shall come and bring more viable projects here. So, I request the sub-county chairperson with support from the district that you identify a Parish Development Model (PDM) project; may be for tree planting which can benefit from here, small scale irrigation which can benefit from here so that we can come in as government to build on what you have started,” Kayizzi advised.

Kayizzi said with the help of the district water officer and the ministry team, they are planning to put a production well borehole which can solve the problem of lack of safe drinking water in the area.

Alfred Okuonzi, the Arua district chairperson observed that the Biacici valley tank project is the first of its kind in the history of the greater Arua.

He, however, said the project can best be managed by entering into a private partnership with the community, urging the water user committees in place to initiate projects like tree planting, and nursery beds in order to protect and maintain the valley tank.

While presiding over the function, Denis Okwai Jawoko, the Arua Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC) appealed to the community of Ajia sub county to multiply their household income from the valley tank so that the commissioner and his team get excited and reward them with more.

“Let the youths be the first advocates to ensure that this project is jealously guarded and use it to the maximum so that they can improve their quality of life. Let us also ensure that we have efficient use of this water,” Jawoko emphasized.

Following the excitement of getting the water project, locals rewarded the engineers from the ministry with a goat and a cock as sign of appreciation for the good work done.

On the fateful day, another team from the ministry of water and environment was in Odramacaku trading center in Ayivu Division of Arua city sweeping and beautifying the area as part of the activities to mark the water week.

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