MASINDI RESIDENTS DEFY HEALTH OFFICIAL’S GUIDELINES, CONSUME CONTAMINATED WATER.
BY ISMAIL BATEGEKA
MASINDI: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER, 14, 2021
Over 1,000 residents living in Masindi town, Masindi district are at high risk of contracting water borne related diseases after they defied and continued using contaminated water sources condemned by health authorities.
The ten contaminated water points are both wells and springs that were built in early 2000’s by Masindi district.
Dr Patrick Baguma the District Health Officer – Masindi says residents remain at risk of contracting diseases if they continue consuming water from the condemned water sources without boiling.
He said district health officials made an inspection on the affected water points and found out that they were contaminated with human waste. The health expert adds the high water table of the area, and increased developments in the area in the last five years people have constructed many toilets near water sources.
“As health experts we tested water and found out that it contained human waste, and made a report to district council for further action, people will start suffering with typhoid in near future because the water they are consuming is not safe and we also we encouraged them
to always boil water before use,” Baguma said.
Jowez Mutunda a resident in Masindi town said when the water points are closed, it will create a water crisis in town because they don’t have an alternative source of water for their domestic consumption.
Augustus Bigirwenkya a resident in Civic B ward said the closure will solve the water shortage crisis since many people are not connected to national water.
“If they close these water sources they should immediately provide us with alternative source of water, many people don’t have national water in their homes those without money are being disconnected and the only option is these water source points,” Bigirwenkya said.
The decision by the district councilors came after the district health inspection team reported to the council that water in ten water points in the Central Division of Masindi Municipality were not safe for human consumption as it contained human waste.
The water points in areas of Kirabu, Kirasa, Kijuura and Kihande serve a population of over 1,000 people in Masindi town and its neighborhood areas.
It is not the first time the district council of Masindi passes the same resolution to close the same water points, in 2019, the same council passed the same resolution, but it was not implemented.
Alfred Ochen the Masindi district water officer told our reporter that the residents are advised to use tapped water because it’s safe and treated. “People are advised to abandoned all spring wells in the municipality because they are not safe, and connect national water in their homes because it’s water is treated,” Ochen said.
He also adds that since residents have no alternative of other water sources, they are encouraged to boil and treat water before use.
According to masindi district water office, Masindi has 1,412 domestic water points which serve a total of 242,678 people to 216,418 in rural areas.
Mwambu William a district councilor representing people with disabilities say, the matter need to be raised again in district council for discussion. “The district council will have to revise the decision so that our people can access good water,” Mwambu said.