Water is life. But in Musubi village, Kigandalo sub-county in Mayuge district, getting water is a matter of life and death.
To get water, people have to walk to the shores of Lake Victoria, where giant crocodiles await them for prey.
â€œFor a long time, we were depending on the lake for water until around 1996 when giant crocodiles invaded the area. They started terrorising us and eating up some of our people. To avoid them, we dug a ditch for a well. It is a seasonal well,â€ explains Damaino Sebunyo, the Musubi LC1 chairman.
The circular ditch has been covered with logs and sticks to avoid contamination. Its water is chalk-like but villagers say it is the safest water they have for domestic use.
The muddy ditch currently serves as the only alternative source of water to other four villages of Bukabuli, Nawampongo, Muyanzi and Kitubenzi all in Kigandalo sub-county.
Sebunyo says to avoid the man-eaters at the lakeshores, people from the surrounding villages walk over five kilometres to fetch water at this well.
He said over 36 people have been killed by crocodiles since 2002.
Bashili Kitali, a peasant in Musubi says with the presence of the man made well, people can now get water without necessarily going to the lake were the crocodiles live.
â€œOur state is very worrying. When we go to the lake for water, we are taken prey by the reptiles. What do we do then?â€ asks Kitali as women, men and children struggle to insert their containers into the well and get the water.
Bunya East Member of Parliament, James Kubeketerya says he has repeatedly appealed to the Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment to put protected wells for the people but nothing has been done especially in the areas close to the lake.
A health survey in the district has also shown that over 75 percent of the children have biliharzia, a water infection transmitted by the water snail.
Kigandalo where water is for a matter of life and death