The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda Limited which is operating the Kingfisher oil field in the mid-western district of Kikuube, has funded a sh1.6b water facility to serve residents.
Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, CNOOC contracted Samka Construction Company Limited in February this year to construct the solar-powered facility until June, 2022.
The water scheme is located on River Masika with license from the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and is meant to serve five villages in Buhuka parish, Kyangwali sub-county.
The facility was officially commissioned and handed over to the Kikuube district Local Government authorities for management on Wednesday.
The villages to benefit include; Sonza A, B, Nsuzu A, B and Kyakapere, whose residents have been struggling with access to clean drinking water despite living in the vicinity of Lake Albert.
Residents said the water from the lake is salty hence making it unpalatable for human consumption and forcing people to buy from vendors at sh2,000 per jerry can.
John Okumu, the LC1 Chairperson for Sonza A, hopes access to clean water will reduce risks of water borne diseases which had previously been rampant amongst the community.
Zakalia Lubega, the head of Corporate Affairs at CNOOC Uganda Limited, said the project would serve 10,000 people.
The scope of the work included laying a 14-kilometre pipeline, a purification point, rehabilitation of a 63,000-litre aluminum tank, establishment of intake aeration segment tank and sand filters.
Others are an 180,000-litre per day reservoir, 45 tap stands each tagged to 200 people and designed to last for 15 years.
Lubega said three plumbers have been trained from the community to help in maintenance of the facility in case of any mechanical problem.
Peter Banura, the Kikuube district chairperson said the water facility comes at a time the area is in readiness for the sudden influx of people expected to pour into the area in search of opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
Banura commended CNOOC Uganda Limited for always paying attention to the community needs and lending a hand, especially on things that improve people’s wellbeing.
Chen Zhuobiao, President CNOOC Uganda Limited, implored the water committees that have been constituted to guard the facility well in order for the project to last longer.
The Kingfisher project has a planned Central Processing Facility (CPF) with a capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day and 31 wells (2 injector and 20 production wells) to be drilled on four well pads.