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Uganda: Solar power to run Katakwi water project

The government is to switch to solar power to run the Shs1billion water system in Katakwi district, the Assistant Commissioner for Urban Water Supply, Mr Dominic Kavutse, has said.
Kavutse said the decision was due to the high cost of fuel incurred to run the generator that powers the water system. "Since there is no power in Katakwi, we shall use solar panels to run the water system,” he said.

“But we warn residents here to protect the solar panels from thieves and vandalism." Kavutse said this during the commissioning of the Katakwi Water Supply System on April 27.

He said the system had few customers, which affected revenue collection and maintenance of the project. The Minister of State for Water, Ms Maria Mutagamba, who commissioned the system, urged residents to protect it because alot of money had been sunk into the project.

She said the government's long-term goal was to ensure that all urban dwellers and 61 per cent of rural communities accessed clean and safe water by 2015. Women and children were the most affected by the water shortage in the district with childrening missing school while women had to trek long journeys in search of clean water.

The project is likely to reduce the above burden. The water system was constructed under the Support for Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project. Mutagamba urged the youth to use water sparingly.

She advised them to engage in activities like poultry farming, piggery, brick laying and cattle farming since water was now available. She advised parents to educate children since they nolonger needed them to wander long distances searching for water. Kavutse said the project would serve 8,000 people and would be completed in eight months.


Additional information:
News date: 04/05/2006

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