When Lucille and Piero wrote to Amin’s minister about water supply at Lacor

When Lucille and Piero wrote to Amin’s minister about water supply at Lacor

Lucille and Piero to E. W. Oryema, Minister of Land and Water Resources: Mr Minister, the well is done!

March 10, 1976

Dear Honourable Minister,

The Direction of this hospital would like to take this opportunity to thank you heartily for your help. Because of your personal interest in our problem with water supplies, we are glad to tell you that the drilling machine came to Lacor shortly after seeing you. Moreover, the borehole is now completed, and a water supply is thus assured to the hospital, forever.

We are, however, a bit concerned about the expenses for drilling this borehole. According to the original agreement with the Director of drilling, some months ago we sent a cheque of shillings 5,000 to the Uganda Administration. At that time we jointly thought it possible to continue drilling the then existing borehole which was already 200 feet deep. This would have meant an addition of only 100-150 feet of more drilling. Unfortunately, when the drillers came, they found it inconvenient (because of the different diameter of their machine) to continue drilling the same hole, and so they decided to start a completely new borehole. It now appears the cost of this new borehole could be quite high for our hospital.

For this reason we would like to appeal to you for your consideration, so that the above payment of shillings 5,000 be accepted as a final one by your Ministry.

We make this plea for the following reasons:

  1. In our treatment of patients we find that we, at Lacor, are caring not only for the local Acoli population, but patients are coming from as far away places as Lira, Soroti, Mbale, Kampala, Masindi and Hoima.
  2. Since 1972, this hospital has been treating all children under the age of six years (who make up about 40% of our total patient population) free of charge, irrespective of the length of their treatment and hospitalisation.
  3. Because the local Authorities have already undertaken to help us with water supplies, in our Health Centres at Opit, Pabo and Amuru, we felt it better this time to appeal to you for assistance from the Central Government.
  4. Last, but not least, considering that next month Lucille and myself will be celebrating the 15th year of our stay in Uganda, would you not consider these 15 years of medical services to the Uganda People as something deserving of your benevolence?

Honourable Minister, we hope that you will look once again favourably upon the needs of Lacor Hospital.

We hereby renew our thanks and express our sentiments of gratitude.

Sincerely yours,

Lucille and Piero Corti

Photo by mrjn Photography on Unsplash

Reply from Minister Oryema

Entebbe, March 17, 1976

Dear Doctor,

Please refer to your letter dated March 10, 1976, addressed to the Minister of Land and Water Resources.

I am pleased to inform you that the Minister has considered your request and has found it fitting to grant you the request contained therein.

Yours sincerely,

S.L. Okec, Permanent Secretary


Erinayo Wilson Oryema was the first African Inspector General of the Uganda Police. When Idi Amin took power, Oryema was made Minister. In February 1977, he was arrested and, together with the Anglican Archbishop Janani Luwum and Minister Oboth Ofumbi were accused of treason and killed.

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