24 February 2024

tndNews

North's First

Thousands in Gulu City drink contaminated water

According to reports from NWSC Gulu branch spokesperson Ivan Tekakwo, they are running a shortage of water supplies for their customers due to prolonged drought.
water

Children fetching water from unsafe points in Gulu city. Photo by Lil Romeo.

Last Updated on: 30th March 2022, 01:28 pm

Over 6000 residents depend on water wells, spring water sources which sometimes get flooded with animals wastes.


By Okot Lil Romeo

Gulu- March 26, 2022: Over 39,000 people living in Gulu city divisions and others surrounding the city are drinking unclean water.

 

Their areas are yet to be connected with safe drinking water by the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation (NWSC). 

 

The locals have raised fears that they will get waterborne diseases after many of the water sources are suspected to be contaminated.

 

According to health experts on water and health and a study by Harvard University Research on Gulu in 2018, 20% of water in Gulu city [municipality at the time] was unclean for use.

 

Paiyat Okeng is the secretary of production and environment in the office of the LCI of Limo cell, Laroo division. He says over 5000 residents are using water from a wells-spring point. He added that only one constructed well-spring and one public stand post [PSP) is serving the entire population.

 

Okeng told TND News that the communities are facing challenges of unclean water during the rainy season, with floods at all water sources.

 

Peace stream is connected to the sewage lines which contaminate all the water points, he claims.

 

Winifred Aber and Gloria Atim are residents of Pageya cell, Laroo-Pece division. They have condemned NWSC for hiking water costs at shs200 per jerrycan.

 

The two said the community can not afford to buy water from the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, revealing that local communities are consuming unclean water from unsafe spring wells.

 

Brian Openyrwot, Deputy speaker Layibi-Bardege Gulu City West also a division councilor representing Kweyo Ward, says over 6000 residents depend on water wells, spring water sources which sometimes get flooded with animals wastes.

 

During the dry season, he said people share water sources with animals ‘which is a risk to our health’. 

 

He, however, urges that NWSC should install piped water in the areas near Gulu city.

 

He adds that all the two wards of Kweyo and Teko, there are only boreholes that cannot serve the entire population.

 

Jimmy Ocitti, the LCI Lukung cell said some of his community members are fetching water from wells and spring wells which is near the sewerage plant: about 50-80 meters from the water point.

 

He said there is a linkage to the Pece stream which floods during the rainy season and contaminates the current water sources.

 

According to Dr. Florence Oyella, the hospital director of Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, the level of chemical (chlorine) in the water is too much. She said this is contributing to the spread of typhoid among the people of Gulu city.

 

Oyella revealed that there’s a lot of medical waste being dumped in the Pece stream.

 

Furthermore, health inspector Rubanga Michael disclosed that some communities in Gulu city defy health officials’ guidelines on consuming untreated water without boiling.

 

Rubanga in his inspection of water points in Gulu confirmed that more than 50 water points are suspected not to be used by people, but they are using it illegally up to now.

 

He advised the community to start using taped water because it is safe and treated. He condemned people who are using water from untreated water points in the city.

 

According to reports from NWSC Gulu branch spokesperson Ivan Tekakwo, they are running a shortage of water supplies for their customers due to prolonged drought.

 

Currently, he said they are supplying half-capacity of the water to the people of Gulu city: 5 million liters out of 10 million liters are currently produced in a day due to drought.

 

Tekakwo revealed that NWSC is servings more than 12,500 customers in Gulu city and that they have extended their services to areas like Pageya, Koro-abilli, Onyama, Anaka road, Moroto road, among others.

 

The above areas he said are to be connected with water from the Karuma dam project which will produce 30 million liters of water in a day to address the shortages of water supply in Gulu city.

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