Christmas 2022 was a sombre affair in Namaliga village, Kitemu ward, after residents buried two sisters who drowned in a dam on Wednesday.
The deceased Namuyanja Bridget (16) and Nanyonjo Getu (9) had gone to fetch water from the dam when the tragedy occurred in Bukango sub-county in Bukomansimbi district.
Their mother Rosemary Nabadda narrated that she had instructed the children to go and pick coffee from one of their gardens while she harvested in another plot of land. When she returned home at 11am, she was surprised not to find them at home with their siblings.
Tearfully, Nabadda said, “They had told me that they were going to pick a lot of coffee so that we eat rice on Christmas but by the time I came back from the garden I only found coffee at home. When I asked their sister who was at home where they were, she said they had told her they wanted to fetch water though we had enough water at home. I waited for sometime but when they did not come back, I asked their brother to go and check at the dam to see what they were still doing. But my girls were not there.
he brother who went to search for his sisters Henry Zziwa told Nile Post, “When I got to the dam, I could not see them. I could only see Nanyonjo’s clothes and sandles near the dam. I got scared and rushed home to inform our mother. She was so shocked that she failed to come back with me to the dam to check further so I went to look for our father.”
The distraught father who was in the trading centre at the time said, “My son came while running calling me that father father it seems that Nanyonjo and Bridget have fallen in the dam. I rushed to the dam and indeed we could only find Nanyonjo’s clothes which made me realise they had drowned.”
Residents joined the family in the search for the deceased’s bodies which were eventually removed from the water with fishnets.
Speaking to the Nile Post, the residents said that the dams had been dug to provide water for cattle. However, due to water scarcity in Bukomansimbi, they also fetch water from them.
They begged government to either provide them with tap water in their communities or construct fences around the dams to prevent more loss of life.
In September this year, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Ronald Ssegawa visited Bukomansimbi to assess how government can construct safety railing around the dams.
The Bukomansimbi RDC Jane Francis Kagaayi assured the residents that the government will soon install fences around these dams. The RDC urged residents to caution their children against playing in these dams to prevent loss of life in drowning accidents.