According to latest records, the National coverage for clean water is 69.9% with coverage in urban centres coming to 71.6%. This is a great milestone from National Water and sewerage corporation however am skeptical that with a budget allocation of only Ugx 100 billion in FY 2021/2023, you might not realize your medium-term targets of attaining 80% coverage given the fact that the resources are not adequate in addition to the growing demand for water supply and sanitation needs.
Another deadlock might be the obstruction by opportunists who like tarnishing members of NWSC. I think this is counter-productive because it destruct committed staff from attaining their set goals. As a utility government provider, it is one of the best with customer centric organization aspiring to be a leading a customer oriented organization in the world.
Water is used for fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product. Water is also used by smelting facilities, petroleum refineries, and industries producing chemical products, food, and paper products.
This means that even a youth with chapati stall or a bakery at home needs water, and it should therefore be affordable because it is an input in production. 25/= per jerrycan of water is still on the higher-end because a final consumer is buying it at 200/=, probably due to supply constraints which need to be resolved. Even in some parts of Wakiso,they are not yet connected to National grid which is likely to delay government Vision 2040:A transformed Ugandan society from pleasantry to a modern prosperous economy.
However, we are optimistic that with full completion of 80km water supply from River Nile to serve 484,000 people, River Kagera infrastructure, Wakiso west water, and sanitation projects, rehabilitation and expansion of Mbale water supply scheme, Katosi water treatment, Kapeeka water supply, among others will greatly increase the coverage.
We therefore further urge members of parliament who appropriate the budget to increase the amount of money for investing in water because water is a critical element.
Ben Ssebuguzi is the Secretary-General of Uganda Poor youth movement (UPYM).