By Our Reporter
Katakwi: The Vice President Maj. (Rtd) Jessica Alupo on Friday commissioned a multi-million piped water supply and sanitation system in Katakwi district, Eastern Uganda.
The Olilim piped water system is expected to supply water to the villages of Morulinga, Osemwa, Aiti, Osiomit, and Siriye in Olilim parish, Palam Sub County, and Ngariam County in Katakwi district.
The project was implemented by Welthungerhilfe, a civil society organization, with funding from Charity Water and the government of Uganda. Its contractor was SB Innovations Ltd.
The system, with a water discharge capacity of over 11700 liters per hour, will serve a population of 3050 people in the district.
The water system is solar powered, with a distribution line and pumping station including a borehole, pump, tank, pump house, and sanitation facility. Others are the guard house, solar PV generator, chlorine dosing unit, and transmission line.
While commissioning the water system, Alupo assured locals that the government will continue to discharge services to people without discrimination, following well-stipulated policies on electricity, the building of regional markets, healthcare provision, education, and environmental conservation, among other services.
She also noted that there’s a clear relationship between the provision of safe water and the completion rate of learners, production and productivity, and infant mortality in the region.
Owing to the above connection, Alupo said, the water facility being commissioned will go a long way in mitigating some of the challenges mentioned above.
She assured development partners that the government will always provide the necessary environment for them to deliver services to people.
“Government will symbiotically work with the private sector, civil society organizations, and non-government organizations, following well-designed policies, to offer social services to its people,” she explained.
The vice president applauded Welthungerhilfe for its wonderful intervention in the Teso subregion.
She explained that in Katakwi district, safe water access and coverage are at 81 percent.
Jeannette Wijnants, the Country Representative of Welthungerhilfe, assured the people that Katakwi district alone stands at 23 percent in water point management.
She said that in terms of gender inclusion, the district stands at 97 percent, while water point functionality is at 73 percent.
She noted in Katakwi/Amuria that water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects aim to improve access to safe, clean water and hygiene and sanitation practices for the population in the districts in the Teso subregion.
Eng. Jimmy Biyomotho, the manager of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Regional Center 11, which handles Moroto, Teso, and Karamoja subregions, said the NDP 111 aims to increase access to improved sanitation nationally to 40% by 2024/2025 and ultimately to reach 80% by 2040.
He added that Katakwi district has been making significant strides towards achieving those development goals.
Biyomotho emphasized that Katakwi have access to clean and safe water at a rate of 89 percent, while urban centers have a 95 percent access rate.
He said the functionality rate of water sources in Katakwi is 97 percent, and regarding handwashing, the district is currently at 38 percent.
Biyomotho said Katakwi is on course to attain the set target of 50 percent by next year.
He concluded by saying that in 2020, over 310 villages in Katakwi had no access to safe water sources; however, through concerted efforts by both the Ministry of Water and the local leadership, with support from partners, the number of unserved villages has been reduced to 118 in this financial year.
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