Students at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) have decried the lack of safe water for drinking in the university, arguing that it has exposed the community to health risks.
The concerned students launched a safe drinking water and good sanitation campaign on Wednesday that aims at installing water filters and purifiers in the university and the hospital. The campaign also aims at ensuring that the environment is clean.
Derina Atuhwere, a third year student and the President of the Integrity Ambassadors Club said that the campaign targets the vulnerable students who can not access safe water for drinking.
She said the water crisis was critically affecting majority of the students who cannot buy bottled drinking water every day especially during the dry season.
“So far, in the whole university, we don’t have any water point where students can access safe drinking water. Those that cannot afford buying bottled water find themselves taking unboiled water directly from the water taps,” she said.
“If a student has no money, he or she cannot get water for drinking until they return home. We realized as Integrity Club that this is a crisis that should be brought to an end,” said Atuhwere.
She however noted that the students could not wait for the university to make an intervention, and as such, they as students have decided to provide water filters and purifiers that will be provided to each faculty.
Annu Amanjot, the Minister of Foreign Affairs under Integrity Ambassadors Club who also works with United SIKHS from U.S said the absence of water purifiers exposes both patients and students to high risks of drinking unsafe water.
“It feels bad when a patient comes to the hospital for treatment and ends up taking un safe water,” Amanjot.
“That patient can end up contracting other diseases because some cannot afford buying bottled water every day even students some are incapable. This project had been started before but it lacked support, so we decided to revive the project,” Amanjot revealed.
She revealed that the intervention has already got donors who will provide purifiers and water filters in the university at a cost of Shs 1.5m each.
“It’s very absurd that such a big institution which has also a hospital does not have safe water points for vulnerable patients and students. This has a negative impact on the health of students and the image of the institution”.
She said the installation for the water filters will take place at the end of February.
Mike Katongole, the Guild President of MUST said that safe water is one of the basic needs which everyone is entitled to.
Dr Celestine Barigye the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) Director commended the campaign towards safe water.
He noted that these purifiers shall be subject to approval to ensure that the water they release is safe and free from germs.