The National Water and Sewerage Corporation [NWSC] has decided to treat the ‘holy water’ from the Martyrs’ lake at the Catholic shrine in Namugongo.
Many pilgrims who flock Namugongo to celebrate the Martyr’s Day on June 3, fetch the ‘holy’ water from the man-made lake.
They have often given testimonies that the water heals them of various ailments. As a norm, pilgrims scamper with jerrycans to get a share of the water.
The rector Fr Vincent Lubega told Uganda Radio Network [URN] that a week ago, the shrine’s secretariat requested NWSC to conduct tests on the water to ascertain whether it was safe to use for several purposes including drinking.
A recent study conducted by the Department of Biochemistry Makerere University indicated that the water contains pathogenic micro -organisms such as E.coli, and Coliforms, a type of bacteria known to cause diarrhoea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, abdominal pain, and fever.
“We are working with national water to ensure that the water is treated with reagents,” Rev Lubega told URN.
He says that the water is not necessarily drunk by pilgrims but rather many use it for different purposes like sprinkling it at the homes and business for blessings.
He also says they have always advised pilgrims who wish to drink the water to first boil it.
Samuel Apedel, NWSC spokesperson told URN NWSC has already cleared them to proceed.
“Whenever, someone wishes to drill a borehole in jurisdiction of NWSC must apply through the ministry of Water for permission. We have since received their application and given them a green light.”