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It is important for all actors to ensure that water supply systems are always functional in order to minimize the negative effects that result from lack of access to reliable, safe and clean water.
In a March 2015 interview with IRC Uganda, Commissioner of the Rural Water Department, Joseph Oriono Eyatu shared his reflections on the significance of functionality of water facilities.
If you are a water user and you go to a source, what are the chances that you will find it working?
"If you are a water user and you go to a source, what are the chances that you will find it working?" People get frustrated when they go to a source and they don't find water. How does that impact on the health of the people? How does it impact on their ability to engage in economically productive work?.........The longer the distance that people have to walk the more time they spend on fetching water. The more crowded the source, the longer it takes for people to fetch water. That affects their ability to perform other economic activities.
It affects children who have to go to school. In the evening if girls stay long at the source they can easily be waylaid and molested by rogue characters. The situation may also lead to domestic violence whereby a husband gets suspicious if his wife takes long fetching water. Worse still there is a tendency for people to revert to unprotected and unsafe sources. For the vulnerable people like the elderly and the people living with physical impairments, they cannot endure the long distance and the queues at the source so they end up looking for the nearest source, regardless of its safety.
This must change especially for those who are vulnerable like the children, women, the elderly and the physically handicapped. All those effects can be addressed if we give the people more reliable water supply systems. "
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