and Moses Nampala
A NEW project was on Monday commissioned to supply water to 5,000 residents of Mella sub-county, Tororo district.
The project was funded under the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).
The water and environment minister, Maria Mutagamba, said the water supply system would help to improve sanitation and avert the reducing forest cover.
Prior to the intervention, which is worth sh330m, women and children walked up to six kilometres to fetch water.
Mutagamba said the intervention would help the ministry to move closer to its target of providing safe water to 90% of the population by 2015.
She said the water should also be used in planting trees since women walk long distances in search of firewood.
The launch coincided with the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Nile Basin Initiative also referred to as â€œThe Nile Day.â€
The water supply project was implemented by the Sio-Malaba-Malakisi project, one of the investment projects of the basin initiative, which also undertakes similar activities in Kenya.
The water state minister, Jennipher Namuyangu, advised the beneficiaries to engage in income generating projects such as fruit growing and rearing chicken in order to pay for the water.
Namuyangu also said parts of Uganda, particularly eastern Uganda were fast becoming a desert and advised that the district authorities to mobilise people to benefit from available Government programmes to restore the environment.
She cited Malaba, Manafa and Namatala as some of the rivers that are heavily silted because of the rampant degradation in their catchment areas.
The LC5 chairman, Emmanuel Osuna, said piped water would be extended to other areas to replace boreholes and shallow water wells.
Tororo residents get safe water