By Alex Gahima
Residents of Kisoro Municipality and other surrounding areas can now breathe a sigh of relief after going one month and a few days without fresh water supply through their taps.
The problem that started on December 9th 2021 was eventually sorted out by National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) engineering teams on January 10th 2022.
NWSC area manager for Kisoro Peter Ariho thanked Kisoro residents for resilience and exhibiting patience despite the inadequacy of water during the festive seasons of Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Ariho explained that one of the pumps at Nkanka water plant in Nyarubuye Sub County broke down due to a fault caused by irregular power supply.
A repentant Ariho says, due to lack of an alternative at the water plant, all efforts to have the faulty pump fixed were futile.
“We labored so hard to do the repairs from Nkanka but they failed, we relocated the pump to our specialized workshop in Ggaba, Kampala but they failed, Ariho explained
Ariho says, in a bid to restore water supply to Kisoro customers, a new 200Hp 147KW Submersible mortar replacement was imported from Turkey which is said to have arrived in the country by December 26th 2021.
However due to the festivities and other bureaucratic processes of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), the mortar replacement eventually arrived in Kisoro on January 8th 2022.
Ariho says during the month long wait, the most hard-hit areas in the district that did not get any water include Bunagana town council, Maziba, Gihuranda, Gasave, Gafurizo, Ruko and Nyarubuye among others.
Bunagana town council Mayor Ismail Ndayambaje says the situation had completely gotten out of hand as some households had now resorted to crossing into the Democratic Republic of Congo illegally to fetch water.
Ndayambaje says one 20 liter Jerry can was costing 1,500 shillings which was not affordable to everyone.
“We are pleased that the month long water shortage has been restored because Hygiene and sanitation was getting worse, families had abandoned bathing and even washing plates, flies had become too many, Ndayambaje explained.
A Source from Kisoro Government Prison said, with more than 200 inmates, the water crisis was beginning to hit hard, luckily, some inmates would cross the road to Shaaza HC III where they would fetch more than 10 drums of water each day.
Rectifying the Problem:
Long before the installation works of the new pump set at Nkanka water Plant could begin, the gushing waters of Chuho Spring in Mutolere continued to support the water needs of some communities in Kisoro district.
Using rationing as a strategy, the natural spring with a capacity of 120,000 liters per hour helped some low laying areas access fresh clean water at least once or twice a week for the duration of an entire month.
January 10th 2022, the engineering teams of NWSC from Kampala, Mbarara and Kisoro managed to lower the 1 ton 400kg Mortar and 500Kg pump) into Nkanka water source after many hours of fabrication work.
After multiple tests were carried out, pumping of water resumed at 3:30pm and releasing fresh clean water into taps across Bunagana town council, Kisoro Municipality and other surrounding areas with an hour’s time, bringing joy and happiness to many.
“The time could not have been more perfect”, Ariho explained as Schools in Kisoro district and across the country had just re-opened for their first day of the term.
Nkanka water plant which was officially commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni back in January 2021 has had recurring issues due to the unstable power supply in the district.
Nkanka Water is a spring that pops up in Nyakagezi village, Karambi parish, Rukundo town council producing more than 6 million liters of water per hour.
According to Ariho, the water plant at Nkanka has the capacity to pump 130,000 liters per hour which is more than adequate to solve the water problems in Kisoro district