Kapoeta residents face clean drinking water crisis

Some residents of Palakal and Rei B areas in Kapoeta town, Eastern Equatoria State, say they risk contracting water-borne diseases after their boreholes broke down a month a go.

The households, estimated at 6,000, had been dependent on solar-powered borehole pumps until the solar panel broke down in May.

“There is nowhere else we can get clean drinking water after solar panels that powered the borehole pumps, which were drilled by the government, got damaged,” said Mary Nakinga.

As a result, they fetch water from Singaita River – a situation they say could cause serious health diseases as they use the unsafe water to cook and drink.

“We go and fetch water from River Singaita which sometime causes diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and even flu and cough,” another resident, Susan Nakang, explained.

As a culture, it’s the duty of women and girls to fetch water. Some of them say the state of the borehole pumps is exposing them to sexual abuse by the river.

“There are some bad boy at the Singaita River. They are from Machi. When they find a girl there alone, they will beat her and sexually assault her,” said a young lady who requested anonymity.

They called upon the concerned government institutions to have the solar panels repaired immediately to avert the situation.