By Vicent Nathan Lusambya
Over 8 million Ugandans lack access to safe and clean water. If that’s not bad enough, 27 million do not have access to improved sanitation facilities.
Due to the water disparities, urban people living in poverty spend as much as 22 percent of their income to access water from water vendors thus limiting opportunities to build savings and break the cycle of poverty.
It under these circumstances that Hope of Children and Women victims of violence (HOCW), a Ndejje Division based Non- government organisation decided to launch a ‘Water for a decent life project’ aimed at providing safe and clean water to the community of Ndejje in the wake of the fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the launch of the project on Tuesday, the Executive Director John Bolingo Ntahir said that they came out to help people go through the trying times of the pandemic whose added challenge is living without access to safe water.
“Now more than ever, access to safe water is critical to the health of families in Uganda. We are going to construct tip tap tanks and boreholes especially in Ndejje community schools and water will be accessed at a zero cost,” he said.
Bolingo however, urges government and other NGO’s to tighten the belts of tackling other challenges of Covid.
“People come for help at our offices yet we also have less resources to accommodate them. The demand was very high than our resources. These people need funds to start up small businesses,” he noted.
The project is supported by the Republic of Slovenia through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It commenced on 1June and will run up to October 15,2023.
Shafik Ssonko, the Ndejje Division Mayor urged local leaders to closely work with HOCW to ensure that the community has access to safe and clean water.
“The responsibility starts with all of us in the community and our participation is key, so we pledge to work with HOCW to ensure that the project is fully implemented because it will benefit us in a positive way,” he said.
He advised that: “These projects should also benefit the youths and help in provision of employment opportunities especially since they are home during the lockdown period.”
Godfrey Kigoye, Program Director Katende Harambe Rural Urban Training Centre Namugongo, said that the project will also improve urban livelihood as it can be used for urban agricultural activities especially those carried out on a small scale thus helping people improve on their style of living.
“We also need to sensitize the people, make them aware that water must be recycled by treating and cleaning it before it can be used again or returned to the environment,” he said.
The Vice Chairperson Ndejje Division, Dhikusoka Prossy thanked the HOCW for effectively working towards improving lives and unlocking the community potentials through a number of programs.
“HOCW has also built a maternal centre for the helpless mothers in our community and through the skilling programs, people can now earn a living,” she said.