Until 2005, Betty Amuge and her family of four children had to trek 3 kilometers each day to an unprotected spring to get about 120 litres of water for drinking, cooking, washing and personal hygiene. There was a borehole in her village, Akaidebe, in Omoro Sub-county in Alebtong district, but it hardly functioned as no one saw to its maintenance. In 2005, a solar powered water pump was installed in a bore well and it came as a relief to her and the entire village because not only did it save them from traveling long insecure distances to fetch water but it also meant that they finally had clean safe water.
“The installation of this water pump improved our lives…,” narrated Betty. “Not only did the pump save us considerable time and effort, but it also improved on our health as we no longer suffered from water borne diseases”.
With her spare time, she was also able to do a lot of income generating activities to help look after her family and provide for their basic needs.
Five years later, one fateful day, they woke up to the news of the solar pump breakdown. This greatly devastated them as it simply meant they had to go back to the traditional water sources that they used before.
Some rural areas are fortunate to have a borehole that can provide them with clean safe water but most are not so lucky. Across the African continent, half of all rural households do not have access to clean drinking water; they must rely on water sources that may be unhealthy. The situation is better in urban areas, where 80 per cent of the population is covered.
Maintaining clean, safe water remains one of our greatest national and global challenges and responsibilities…….. Jerry Costello
A lot still needs to be done to bring clean water to so many households.