Health News


30,000 Residents Hit By Water Shortage As Boreholes Breakdown


More than 30,000 people in Luweero district are battling a water crisis following the breakdown of several boreholes. Information from the Luweero Water Office shows that at least 100 boreholes have broken down in recent months in the district due to poor management and pressure exerted on them.

Each borehole serves between 300-400 residents. The most affected areas include Kamira, Butuntumula, Kikyusa, Zirobwe and Luweero sub counties among others. One of the faulty boreholes in found at Kikube Primary School in Kikube village in Luweero Sub County.

The borehole broke down last year but the users have failed to raise money to repair it citing extreme poverty. Richard Kyobe a resident of Kikube village says they have resorted to swamps and dams, which are located in distant places for water.

Mensusera Walakira, another resident, says the water from dams is too dirty, which exposes them to diseases.

The borehole in Kyebando-Kikube village broke down in 2016. The district promised to rehabilitate it but to date nothing has been done. Alice Nakamate, a resident of Kyebando-Kikube village says the available dams are located in distant places making it risky for elders and women to go there for water on a daily basis.

Florence Nakamatte, another resident says a jerry can of water costs Shillings 500 due to the dry spell, which many residents can't afford.

The affected residents have petitioned Luweero District to rehabilitate the boreholes. Robert Kalenzi Ssegawa, the Luweero District Water Officer confirms receipt of the applications, saying the district has earmarked about Shillings 78 million to rehabilitate the boreholes to save residents.

Kalenzi says that they intend to renovate between 60-80 boreholes in this financial year, adding that they are already on ground in selected areas to address the problem. He says the district also intends to sink 19 boreholes in new areas.

Kalenzi also says they intend to introduce mini water supply schemes to the shallow wells and boreholes gradually. Ronald Ndawula, the Luweero LC 5 Chairman, says they have resorted to force on account policy, which allows them to hire mechanics directly to repair boreholes instead of contracting companies that are costly.

Ndawula says this new approach will enable them to rehabilitate many boreholes to address water shortage.

A report from the water office shows that about 33 percent of residents in Luweero district lack access to clean water.

The report also shows that there are about 583 deep boreholes, 433 shallow wells, 11 motorized wells, 42 rain water harvesting tanks and 11 spring wells in Luweero district.

The District allocates Shillings 624 million to the water sector each financial year.


KCCA Blamed Councillors for Failure to Monitor Meat Industry



Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) council has blamed the technical wing for failing to monitor and regulate butchers, which has resulted into the sale of adulterated meat to consumers

Last week, an operation led by the KCCA Public Health Directorate, Uganda National Bureau of Statistics, National Drug Authority and Ministry of Agriculture led to the arrest of several butchers for using formalin and hydrogen peroxide to preserve meat.

Both chemicals are harmful to humans. Now, KCCA councilors are accusing the technocrats of failing to do their job. They argue that the fact that KCCA had to wait for the media to first report on the problem is indicative of the failure by technocrats to do their job.

This morning, Dr. Dickens Okello, the Acting KCCA Public Health Director, told council that nine people were picked in connection to the use of the harmful chemicals.

He says two of the suspects pleaded guilty and paid fines of Shillings 100,000 each, adding that six others have also pleaded guilty and were due for sentencing by the city council hall court.

However, the councilors wouldn't have any of this. They argued that it's absurd that KCCA has failed to supervise the meat industry. Kennedy Okello, the Nakawa Councilor, said it is the mandate of KCCA to regulate and supervise all food products sold in the city.

The KCCA Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago accused the Authority of failing to enforce the Kampala City Council Meat Ordinance of 2006 that provides for the licensing, control and regulation of slaughterhouses and butcheries.

The ordinance mandates KCCA to license all butchers. It says the applicant must produce a certificate from a medical officer of health stating that the premises in respect of which the license is required meets the requirements such as availability of sufficient water and good sanitary condition of the building to prevent any contamination of the meat.

The ordinance also stipulates that the building to be used as a butchery must have a "fly proof repository of a size and design approved by the Council, for the storage of any meat not required for immediate sale."

However, Lukwago argues that the KCCA Public Health Directorate has not been implementing the ordinance.

Okello told council that the use of harmful chemicals is being treated as a public health concern that requires serious intervention, saying it will not be business as usual.



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