The state minister for primary health care, Dr Joyce Moriku, has warned city dwellers to avoid drawing water from springs and unprotected wells, describing it as unsafe for domestic consumption.
Moriku’s warning comes after the recent outbreak of Cholera which affected city residents of Kabowa, Rubaga division in Kampala, in which two people died.
She said that after the outbreak of the disease, a study was carried out by the Ministry of Health, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and National Water and Sewerage Corporation, which found that 99% of the spring water bodies in Kampala are contaminated with faecal matter.
“Research conducted by different institutions has revealed that 99% of the water sources that were sampled are contaminated. It is the reason why people are suffering from cholera,” Moriku said.
Addressing the press at the Media Centre on Friday, Moriku explained that after the outbreak of Cholera, her ministry drew water from open water sources and it was found not to be safe.
“Our people are drawing water from springs and fail to boil it. This was found to be the main cause of cholera in the city,” she said.
According to KCCA, there are over 1000 open water bodies in the city and its suburbs, and that most of residents say they cannot afford pay sh500 for a jerrycan of piped water.
Moriku however said the different stakeholders like NWSC had started constructing water points for the affected community in Kabowa were the first cholera outbreak was reported and that each jerrycan of piped water will go for sh25.
What KCCA has done
According to Dr Sarah Zalwango, the medical services at KCCA, the body has continued its campaign to empty latrines in the communities. Most people in the affected Kabowa area were sharing pit latrines which were not to KCCA’s expected standards.
“KCCA with other partners like Uganda Red Cross and UNICEF has continued sensitising the community on proper hygiene,” she explained.
Zalwango said that homes which were affected were given tablets to purify their water and following up with families by community leaders is ongoing.
What NWSC has done
According from information from NWSC, 30 water points have so far been set up in Kabowa and 700 others are expected to put in place in other parts of the city.
Moriku said the health ministry has so far carried out vaccination exercises in Hoima district and is moving on to 11 more districts.
She said that the ministry identified border districts because of the the influx of migrant refugees.
They include Kasese, Nebbi, Buliisa, Zombo, Pakwach, Arua, Busia, Moyo, Namayengo and Ntoroko among others.