Escalating drought affects water supply in Kasese

Currently, a 20-liter jerrican of water costs between Shillings 500 and 1000 from between Shillings 100-300 previously.

KASESE, UGANDA: A severe dry spell is affecting the water supply in Kasese town and other urban centers that depend on the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation-NWSC. A number of areas across the municipality have not had a stable water supply for three weeks.

Currently, a 20-liter jerrican of water costs between Shillings 500 and 1000 from between Shillings 100-300 previously. NWSC is currently rationing water supply to its clients across the district due to low production.

Peter Ebwati, the NWSC Kasese area manager, says that the water supply has reduced by nearly half from 3700 cubic meters in the last three months to less than 2400 cubic meters per day. One cubic meter is equivalent to a thousand liters. He says the problem has been compounded by the persistent dry spell, which made most of the rivers dry up.

Ebwati says that they had opted to tap water from Nyamwambaa and Lake George to increase production but the two sources were found to be highly polluted with mineralogical components that would make it costly to purify the water for consumption.

He says currently, Kasese town and surrounding areas need an estimated 5000 cubic meters of water, which the cooperation cannot supply at the moment.

Ebwati however said NWSC is inspecting other possible sources to expand production. He also appealed to the community to utilize the available water sparingly. Geoffrey Masereka Sharif, the LCI chairperson of Kidodo cell says the area has not had a constant water supply in the last three weeks.

He adds that the area has a population of over 60,000 people who depend on 2500 stand-up taps. “At this time, you find women and children moving at night in search for water, the scarcity of water is putting the population to a risk of disease outbreak…,” Masereka said.

Erastus Isemambo, the Vice-chairperson of Katadoba cell said that many households are currently depending on unsafe water because they cannot afford to buy water from vendors. Eliza Mbabu, who owns a tap in Katadoba cell says that she has been experiencing water shortages for the last weeks.

“In Katadoa we have a problem of shortage of water, we have not had water for three days now but even when it comes, people come and ask for what I have fetched,” Mbamu says.

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