By ABCafrica reporter
At least 2,000 residents on Buvuma Island, the largest island on the chain, last week received 430 water filters from SPOUTS of Water, a social enterprise that produces the Purifaaya Ceramic Water filters. According to Mr Paul Matovu, the SPOUTS’ social programmes manager, 10 Purifaaya filters were given to Kirongo Primary School, 20 filters were given to community leaders, and 378 filters were given to households.
“To ensure that the community accesses safe water at all times and in all places, we installed water filters in public spaces that include; churches, mosques and the Busamuzi Health Center III, the only health center in the sub-county, to improve lives of more than 700 students and over 370 households,” said Mr Matovu. Purifaaya is a ceramic water filter made using local materials to provide an affordable, effective, and easy-to-use solution to water access in Uganda.
Studies show that up to 10 million Ugandans live without safe water and up to 75 per cent of diseases such as; diarrhea which affect them are caused by a lack of clean water and proper sanitation. Statistics further indicate that more than 15 million people don’t treat water, which is 53 per cent of Uganda’s population.
Mr Charles Aisu, the LC3 chairperson, thanked Spouts of Water for the outreach, saying it will go a long way in combating disease outbreaks on the Island.
“Busamuzi reports at least five cases of Typhoid and 39 cases of diarrhea every month, which does not include any families who could not afford to seek treatment at the health center, those who went to the other health centers, or those who turned to traditional medicine,” said Mr Aisu. “I would like to request that the kind gesture is extended to other areas on the Island, as well,” he added. Mr Haruna Watidi, the Kirongo Primary School, head teacher, said every term, at least 40 pupils drop out of the school due to sicknesses from water-borne diseases.
“The on-and-off illnesses have led to more than 40 pupils totally dropping out of school because of often missing classes, but with this donation we hope we shall have the figure falling,” said Watidi.
Buvuma Island has a population of approximately 20,000 people. Buvuma Island residents have the challenge of one of the highest incidents of water-borne diseases; like Bilharzia and typhoid because of its heavy reliance on lake water and limited access to electricity and gas, as fuels for water treatment.