Residents of Mutshet and Kabei sub-counties in Bukwo district are in dire need of clean, safe water. At least 15,000 people in two parishes of Mutshet sub-county and Kabei sub-county get water for drinking, cooking, and bathing from a spring they share with animals.
Victor Yeko, the Mutshet sub-county LC V councilor, says the worst thing is that some people answer nature’s calls in the same spring. “The lives of the people in the two sub-counties are at risk. Should any disease outbreak occur, “the whole district will be in chaos,” he said. Yeko said that they are not sure whether the government will be in a position to save the health of the people by providing them with clean water sources.
He said the most affected are the lower Mutshet parish and Kapkumolwon, where there has been no single water source built by the government since Independence. Melden Chemutai, a resident of Mutshet village in the Mutshet sub-county, said that they have no other source of getting water apart from the spring.
“I wish our people were not defecating in the spring and bringing animals to the same spring. “We would be okay with this water,” he said. Gilbert Chebet, a village health member of Kabei village, said some children are already developing a skin disease, which he suspects could be due to the dirty water.
Dr. Edward Sabiti, the Bukwo District Health Director, confirmed that the lives of the people of Mutshet and Kabei sub-counties are at risk of water-borne disease due to a lack of access to clean water. Dr. Sabit said many other areas lack access to clean water and urged the government to try all available means to protect the health of the people.
“As a health team, we are afraid anytime we shall be in trouble. Should there be a disease outbreak, many people will not be safe,” he said. Julius Chelimo, the Bukwo LC V chairperson, called for an audit into the water projects by both the district and the ministry of water. He said a lot of resources allocated by the government and the district to address the water shortage in Bukwo were abused before he took over the office of the chairperson.
Samuel Hashaka Mpimbaza, the Bukwo Resident District Commissioner, says that he visited the two parishes and found that the situation was horrible. He said he would write to the ministry of water and see how possible it is for them to intervene in the situation before it gets out of hand.
“I felt it seeing what was happening in the two parishes. It was horrible when people were fetching water while cow dung was floating. It’s dangerous, “he said.