MAY 2, 2010: Former IDPs demand 350 boreholes

Former IDPs demand 350 boreholes
SOURCE: The New Vision
FORMER internally displaced persons in Kitgum district are demanding 350 boreholes to be drilled in the return villages.

However, the district works and water secretary, Alex Oyet, told The New Vision recently that in this year's budget, the council budgeted for 242 boreholes to be drilled in the villages without safe water.

He noted that 156 boreholes had already been drilled under the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan programme.

"Water coverage in the return villages is still 34% below the 60% national coverage. We want to reach at least 40%. We still need 131 boreholes drilled in the return villages," he said.

Oyet added that there were few potential water sources where boreholes can be drilled.

"There are some places which are very dry. You may drill a borehole and not get water," he said.

Oyet, however, blamed the community-based water management committees who do not maintain the water points, yet they have been trained as pump attendants.

He also noted that to ease the return process, the district had spent about sh1.3b to open and rehabilitate over 167.3 kilometres of roads in the return villages. Oyet said three bridges were also built on Aringa river, on the Pudo-Obyen road.

He revealed that the district would take over some of the access roads which were opened up by NGOs.

"We want to take over these access roads because they are not being maintained," he said.

Oyet noted that insufficient water was the biggest hindrance to the return process, saying the traditional water sources dried up when people were displaced into the camps.