Water crisis hits Mbale town

Prolonged dry spell has triggered off a water crisis in Mbale town. Courtesy Photo.
Prolonged dry spell has triggered off a water crisis in Mbale town. Courtesy Photo.

Prolonged dry spell has triggered off a water crisis that has hit Mbale town with a 20-litre jerrycan going for 2,000 shillings.

The only spring well adjacent to Police Barracks that used to serve the people from the bus park and taxi park has dried up.

Our reporter saw people queuing to fetch water from as far as six kilometers outside the town.

Brian Taremwa, the Mbale Municipality Manager for the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), says they are able to pump only 1,000 litres per day yet the demand is 10,000 litres. Taremwa noted that NWSC is currently rationing water supply to its clients in Mbale due to the prolonged drought.

NWSC has two treatment plants which draw water from Nabijjo, Manafwa and Nabuyonga rivers.

Taremwa explains that out of the three rivers it’s only from Manafwa that NWSC is drawing water 24 hours while the other two rivers the water levels have gone down.

Taremwa said the most affected areas in the Municipality are Half London and taxi park and among others. He revealed that the water levels have drastically reduced due to the prolonged drought and human activities upstream.

In some areas in Mbale, people have stayed without water for as long as one month.

Peter Lomaruk, a passenger travelling from Kampala to Moroto told our reporter that he spent a night in one of the lodges in Mbale town without bathing. He said he was told that they had not had water for two weeks.

Ezekiel Wadada, a resident of Indian Quarters told us that he had spent one month without water in his house.

Norah Kulume, a resident of Namatala says they are faced with a big challenge in getting water for domestic use and for selling Ajono, a local brew popular among the Iteso.

“Our customers have to wait until I get someone to fetch water. I use a boda boda from Namatala to Bugema to fetch water which is too costly,” lamented.

Our reporter also saw most of the public toilets at the Bus Park, Taxi park and Mbale market closed due to lack of water.

– Uganda Radio Network