Enhancement of skills for ground water development in Uganda
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It is Uganda Government policy (MWE, 2007) and (PEAP, 2004) to increase the number of citizens able to access clean water as a means of improving Public Health, and reducing cost of medical health care among many aims. It’s also evident that many parts of Uganda have access to clean water which has been made possible through provision of underground water sources delivered through borehole hand pumps. However the coverage has suffered many setbacks because of the high level of malfunctions and breakdowns of these developed water sources. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate and devise ways to enhance the skills of drillers and hydro geologists through setting up appropriate training packages since they play an important role if there is to be an increase in water coverage in Uganda. The methodology used in the study included desk studies of appropriate and available literature in Uganda, Africa and from International water experts. This aided in establishing skills requirements for the water professionals in Uganda. Field visits and distribution of questionnaires to the three major stakeholders namely the water well drilling companies, water consultancy companies and implementers helped in establishing the existing skills in the water sector together with the education and professional training they had undergone. From the information generated from the questionnaires, causes, challenges and their recommendations were incorporated in the training curriculum developed. A comparison with curricula from other water training schools was also done and the information gathered was used to generate the curriculum in the study. While it was revealed that drilling of boreholes for rural use was the main activity offered by the drilling companies, the education level of drillers and their assistants was the least with certificates. Although they had received professional training on the job, this was not sufficient to elaborately cover the theoretical aspects required in the drilling field. This needed to be improved through establishment of a water training school with properly established training packages. The hydro geologists were much better educated with Bachelor’s degrees and some with M.Sc. in hydrogeology which is a requirement for better service delivery. Setting up such a school with an appropriate package would go a long way in enhancing the skills of our water professionals and make a positive impact on the water coverage in our country.