Mayuge: Relief as Locals Welcome Five Year Safe Water Solar Power Plant Project
By Mariam Namakula
Government in partnership with the World Vision and Korean International Operation Agency (KOICA) have launched a water power plant project that will provide free clean water to the locals of Mayuge district for five years
According to the Minster Hon Robinah Nabbanja, State Minister for Health In charge of Primary Health Care, who commissioned the project on behalf of the government, revealed that the plant was to provide water to over 512 villages in Mayuge
She noted this was part of government strategy to prevent the community from using un safe water as this was a common practice in the area
“When it comes to diseases that relate to use of un safe water, Mayuge tops list, this project therefore is aimed at reducing on the rate at which the people of Mayuge are infected with water borne diseases,” Nabbanja said.
Nabbanja also noted that water challenges that were faced in the district were also mainly due to the unhealthy practices of the locals that even led to the contamination of their own water source.
“As the chairperson of this village, make a bi- law and if someone is found guilty for not utilizing the latrines then they should be punished,” she added.
Mayuge is one of the water districts in Uganda surrounded by Lake Victoria.
Minister also launched the mass distribution bilharzia drug campaign at Bugoto landing site, Bukaboli sub country
The drug was to treat the locals of Mayuge especially those that have suffered from warms derived from the contaminated water sources
The water power plant Project has cost 1.3 Billion Shillings
Mr. Edward Khaukha, World Vision, noted that the water power plant was started to provide safe water for drinking and domestic use for the communities in Mayuge through a pipe water scheme.
He also revealed that they were also planning to construct toilets six toilets for the community in addition to the 12 they had constructed earlier
“There has been an increment of (30% – 54%) in the use of toilets and latrines in over 28 villages,” Khaukha noted.
Adding that these villages were now focused on practicing good hygiene and sanitation practices something that has enabled them to enjoy and reduce helm.
In Charge of Environmental Health and the ASS. District Health Officer (DHO), Edward Naguyo, also noted that the challenge in fighting the water borne disease has always been in the perception that the locals had it.
Naguyo noted that many locals especially the youth who composed of the biggest population were not abiding by the community safety programs that were provided the ministry of health
These among others included programs like encouraging the locals to boil drinking water before consuming it, use latrines and desisting from use of contaminated water sources.
These however believed those precautions could not cure the water borne disease thus regarded it as witchcraft
“Locals are going to use this free water for years, our only request is that the locals should desist from going to the lake for water, make use of this clean water and also save life and time,” Naguyo said
Adding that, the main aim of the water project was to reduce on Bilharzia infections which have been a common disease among the communities around the lake shores.
The plant was constructed in Bugoto village a home for a population of over 500 people were most of the children had been infected by Bilharzia since they always went to the shores of lake victoria to play.
Residents said that Bugoto had lacked clean water with no tap water or even boreholes and the only option they had was to drink impure water from the lake which has caused them to suffer from Bilharzia
They therefore thanked the government for the initiative and welcomed other developments in their districts because they were tired of travelling long distances in search for clean water.
However the challenge still remains in the other neighboring communities who also come to Bugota village for clean water.