By Kalumba Ronald
The Mukono LCV Chairman Francis Lukooya and speaker Emmanuel Mbonye have tasked the water department to avail them with accountability of funds generated from drilling ridge.
Both leaders say the machine generates a lot of money from boreholes outside Mukono district but the money is not wired to the district account.
A shs. 900m/= high capacity water drilling ridge was procured from Thailand by Mukono district in 2014 and was commissioned by then the Minister for Water and Environment Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, at Ggonve village, Nabbaale sub-county in Nakifuma county in 2015.
The ridge which is the first of its kind at district level, is capable of sinking 80 boreholes annually, compared to the 25 that can be sunk by the old technology ridges in use elsewhere in the country, according to PETER BALL, an expert from the Thai Appropriate Technology Co. Ltd, the facility’s importers.
In his report in 2015, Lukooya said the district had a very low water coverage standing at 30 percent, and expressed hope that the new facility will go a long way in changing this situation.
Mbonye said they are not seeing the result on ground and they see the drilling ridge moving out of Mukono.
“It drills private boreholes which is not bad,we thought it would fetch local revenue to enhance income as Mukono revenue mobilisation is concerned but we don’t find it on account,”Speaker Mbonye said.
Mbonye also said when found they find between shs. 4million to shs. 5million per borehole and rarely.
He said when they ask those private individuals benefiting from the drilling ridge, they say they pay more than shs. 5 million to the water officials.
Mr.Mbonye said the drilling ridge is not benefiting residents in Mukono but only outside people and funds don’t appear as expected.
He said if this bore hole was to only to perform work in Mukono then each village would be having two boreholes and five boreholes would be drilled each month.
“we would be very far but schools have a problem of water and the machine is busy out as if it generating enough money on our account,” Mbonye said.
He said the district resolved to buy a water ridge after water capacity was very low and they did not have enough boreholes to satisfy the need in Mukono district.
He said this machine has the capacity to drill a borehole in one or two days.
And considering shs. 450 million every financial year they thought they could drill over 20 boreholes and before they were drilling less than five and each borehole would cost shs. 35 to 45 million and they thought that when they get their own machine they would cost shs. 8 million.
The LCV chairperson Andrew Senyonga said the machine goes out to drill boreholes without his notice and therefore he is always not aware but only sees shs. 4 million on district account.
” We are not sure that when the machine goes out it drills only one borehole,” Senyonga said.
He said as the district chairperson they should go into contract to drill to know how many boreholes are drilled because per now they don’t know what the water department is doing outside Mukono and how many boreholes are drilled because the district heads are not notified.
The district water officer James Kalule said they post the money on the district account whenever they go out to drill boreholes.
“This machine is hired at shs.4 million and always go to districts like Buyende,kamuli,Iganga,Luwero and Mpigi,” Kalule said.
He said he hires the machine after drilling 12 boreholes every financial year noting that this was passed in the district resolutions in 2015 that the machine should be hired to generate revenue and maintenance fee.
He also said the machine has to go out to fetch money because the district has no money to run the machine from January to December.
He said the machine has benefited Mukono residents because the water capacity has increased to 65% and 50 boreholes have been drilled in Mukono district since 2015.
Kalule said he has never gone out on his own to drill boreholes but always informs the accounting officer, that’s the district Chief administrative officer George Ntulume.
Some of the residents in Nakifuma county said they have not benefited from this ridge at all and have water problem in their area.
Moses Migadde one of the residents pinned the water officials for digging only holes and disappearing without putting in place boreholes.
Annet Nasubuga a teacher in Kisowera school said they have a problem of water in the school and when they tried to approach the water officials to drill them a borehole they were told that the machine is outside Mukono generating district revenue.