The vandalism of crucial public infrastructure, notably the Malakisi water project, has sparked condemnation from both leaders and residents of Busia County, underscoring a growing concern over the security of essential community assets in the region.

Expressing deep concern over the vandalism, Busia County Governor Dr. Paul Otuoma has called upon investigative and security agencies to swiftly apprehend those responsible for the destruction of vital public utilities, including the Malakisi water project, which was inaugurated by the President earlier this year in January.

Reports of vandalism have also emerged regarding the main distribution line of the Malaba water project, situated at the border of Teso North and Sirisia Constituencies. Allegations suggest that some residents of Sirisia Constituency expressed dissatisfaction, citing unequal water distribution favoring the neighboring Teso North constituency.

In another incident on January 25, 2024, more than ten individuals reportedly vandalized the Nasewa-based County Aggregation and Industrial Park (CAIP) in Matayos Sub-county, making away with building materials and assorted equipment.

Addressing the media in Matayos, Governor Otuoma, accompanied by Members of Parliament Raphael Wanjala (Budalangi), Geoffrey Mulanya (Nambale), Joseph Oyula (Butula), and the CEO of Lake Victoria North Water Works Development Agency (LVNWWDA) Mr. Joel Wamalwa, emphasized the detrimental impact of such acts on development initiatives aimed at enhancing residents’ access to basic services.

Governor Otuoma warned against allowing the destruction of vital projects vital for community well-being, highlighting the potential repercussions, including denying approximately 180,000 households access to essential water supplies.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wamalwa confirmed efforts to compensate affected communities and expedite the process to ensure uninterrupted water supply. He reassured that the Water Police Unit is actively handling the matter for further action.

Additionally, the Busia County government, through the Lake Victoria North Water Works Development Agency, has secured funding from the national government to finalize the last-mile connectivity of the Malaba water treatment project, benefitting communities in areas such as Kocholia, Amagoro, Malaba, Angurai, Malaba town, and surrounding regions.

This significant water project aims to alleviate acute water shortages experienced by residents in five wards, signifying a pivotal milestone in the region’s development trajectory.

Governor Otuoma also highlighted governance improvements within the Busia Water and Sewerage Company (BUWASCO), ensuring effective collaboration with development partners to enhance water provision across the county.

During the meeting, legislators were urged to submit reports on upcoming water projects in their respective constituencies for further action, emphasizing collective efforts to address the region’s water challenges and safeguard vital infrastructure for community prosperity.