Mukono District Fails to Utilize Multimillion Borehole Drilling Machine

The leadership of the district at the time hoped that the equipment will provide a lasting solution to water scarcity in the area. Their plan was to also use the equipment as another source of revenue for the district by hiring it out to other local governments if they planned to drill boreholes in their areas.

Mukono district has failed to utilise a multi-million borehole drilling machine which was procured to increase the number of boreholes in the district. The machine was bought at a cost of 900 million Shillings from Thai Appropriate Technology Co. Ltd, six years ago.

The leadership of the district at the time hoped that the equipment will provide a lasting solution to water scarcity in the area.  Their plan was to also use the equipment as another source of revenue for the district by hiring it out to other local governments if they planned to drill boreholes in their areas.

However, the machine has been not used anywhere in the district. Mukono district chairman Andrew Ssenyonga says that his council halted the process of drilling boreholes, as envisioned by his predecessors, and instead focused on repairing the already established boreholes as they continue lobbying funds to set up production boreholes.

“The system of setting up a single borehole is now out of date, we are now opting for production boreholes to pump water and bring it closer to communities”

According to the District Water Officer James Kalule, they would wish to construct at least 20 boreholes every financial year, to close the water shortage gap and extend safe water to communities. One borehole costs between 35 and 40 million Shillings. The district budgets for about 450 million Shillings every financial year for the water sector.

“We would use the fees charged in hiring the machine to supplement the water budget but the machine is rarely hired and many times money from its hiring goes to the machine maintenance,” Kalule notes adding that the machine is hired at 4 million Shillings.

Moses Kabambule, a resident at kasawo says the district has always told them that they are lobbying money to set up production wells but they are not forthcoming.

Areas in Mukono that are still challenged with water scarcity are Kimenyedde, Kkoome, Nabbaale, Kasawo and Nama sub-county. Residents in these areas move long distances of about 1-2 kilometres to access shallow wells and streams to fetch water, which however is not good for public consumption.

 

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