Residents of Lyolwa Sub-county in Tororo District have a reason to smile after getting access to clean and safe water for domestic and commercial use.
More than 20 taps have been installed in the communities, with each projected to serve more than 500 households.
The Shs800m water project will supply water to parishes of Bunganga and Namulinde.
Also, three government-aided primary schools of Ojilai, Poyem and Iyolwa, will benefit.
The water system, which was commissioned on Tuesday, was constructed by Rotary Club of Tororo Chapter in partnership with Rotary Club of Carmichael in the United States of America.
During the handover, residents applauded Rotarians for the support.
Mr Laston Okoth, the Bunganga Village chairperson, said the locals were trekking long distances in search of clean and safe water.
“This had exposed them to not only water-borne diseases but also attacks from the wild animals such as snakes,” he said.
He is optimistic that with the availability of clean water, cases of domestic violence, school dropouts and defilement, will drop.
Ms Betty Chirya Andera, a councillor representing Iyolwa Sub-county, said women have been relieved from the pain of walking long distances to fetch water.
“Women have been spending hours at the crowded wells in need of water. It has been terrible but we are happy since its now history,” she said.
The sub-county chairperson, Mr Benjamin Oketcho, said after getting access to safe water, people will stop suffering from water-borne diseases.
Ms Anne Asinde, the Tororo chapter Rotary Club former president, said the project was arrived at basing on the feasibility study, which was conducted and found that access to clean and safe water in the area was a challenge.
“It was on these findings upon which the club developed a proposal to lobby with other partner Rotary clubs to rescue communities from taking unsafe water that had exposed them to high risk of contracting water-borne diseases,” she said.
Ms Asinde tasked the beneficiaries to ensure that each household contributes Shs800 annually to cater for maintenance and operations of the water system.
The Bishop of Bukedi Diocese, Rev Samuel George Bogere Egesa, asked the community to ensure that they observe basic hygiene and sanitation practices at the water points.
“I urge the community to own the project and guard against vandalisation of the system,” he said.
He also encouraged communities to use the water to establish kitchen gardens where they can grow vegetables throughout the year.