By Onapatum Richard
H.E, the Vice President of Uganda is at the forefront of pushing for the extension of piped water to Katakwi and Karamoja sub region.
Jessica Alupo who is also the Katakwi District Woman Member of Parliament who tasked the National Water and Sewerage corporation to come up with this project, says that implementation should be as fast as possible considering that the region has many water bodies.
Consequently, government has revealed plans to extend piped water to several villages in Katakwi district in Teso and Karamoja sub regions.
According to the ministry of water and environment officials, the water will be sourced from Lake Bisina and Opeta located in the Teso/Karamoja border.
Jessica Alupo, the Uganda Vice President who is also the Katakwi District Woman Member of Parliament who tasked the National Water and Sewerage corporation to come up with this project, says that implementation should be fast possible considering many water bodies in the region.
“We have lake Bisina, Lake Opeta why can’t those who can afford be supplied with piped water, Katakwi is not short of water bodies” said Alupo.
According to her, some people can manage to extend piped water to their homesteads.
“Not all of us are poor, some people can connect the water and pay,” she said.
Alupo said that the available lakes should be used to extend water to Katakwi, Napak, Nakapiripirit and probably Kapelebyong districts.
“Once enough water is available at the border, security will be enhanced to protect the people of Katakwi against the Karamojong cattle rustlers,” said Alupo.
Jimmy Biyomotho, the principal engineer and regional manager for Teso and Karamoja under the rural water and sanitation department in the water and environment ministry said this project is called Lake Bisina integrated water supply project.
Biyomotho said this project will solve the problem of cattle rustling linked to Karamojong herdsmen.
“It’s alleged that in the dry season, Karamojong move into Teso in search of water for their animals but instead end up stealing cattle,” he said.
He said the ministry has already allocated Shs200m for the pre-feasibility study and other related documentation in the 2024/2025 financial year.
This was disclosed during the visit of the Vice President to Katakwi district on Thursday 7th-Dec-2023.
The Vice president also used the opportunity to hail Eseza Lydia Apio the water officer for katakwi.
“I must say you’re one of the dedicated staff this country needs, you are so hardworking and you work with enthusiasm,” said Alupo.
Recently Apio disclosed that the district currently has 568 boreholes which put their water coverage at 75.8percent.
Joseph Andrew Koluo, MP Toroma County in an interview said as a district they have a lot of water from Lake Bisina and Opeta which can be supplied to the whole district and Karamoja.
“If this water in these lakes is put into proper use, it can be piped to all homesteads in Katakwi including Karamoja”, said Koluo.
He expressed his gratitude saying the water project will help people access safe water for drinking and production of more crops through irrigation farming.
“As MPs in Katakwi we shall lobby Parliament to ensure that the Government funds the extension of piped water to the local people in the villages,” said Koluo
The access rates in Katakwi vary from 78 % in Katakwi Sub-County to 95 % in Katakwi TC Sub-County.
Katakwi has 736 domestic water points which serve a total of 187,565 people – 178,183 in rural areas.
21 water points have been non-functional for over 5 years and are considered abandoned. Katakwi has 3 piped schemes.