In the last three decades Ugandans that can access clean and safe water have increased from 10 to 80 percent, President Yoweri Museveni has said.
President Museveni, who is seeking re-election, has promised to avail safe and clean water to all Ugandans in the next few years.
According to his manifesto, out of 68,731 villages in Uganda, 48,338 villages have access to clean water. Out of 20,393 unserved villages, 9,217 are in the rural areas.
The National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) also intends to improve water supply from an average of 18 hours per day to 24 hours seven days although water losses have grown from 29.8% to 33.5% in the last one year.
In 1986, only 10 percent of Ugandans in the rural areas had access to clean safe water. But as of today safe and clean water in rural areas (in radius of 1km) has increased to 70 percent and urban coverage is at 80 percent.
Mr Museveni says his National Resistance Movement (NRM) government plans to extend clean and safe water to every village, ultimately providing water to every household. Museveni says they will construct and extend piped water supply (taps), deep boreholes, shallow wells and protected springs to all unserved villages.
“The NRM’s priority is to increase safe water supply coverage and equity in the entire country. NRM is going to continue focusing on construction of a safe clean water source in every village for the remaining unserved villages while at the same time implementing other planned interventions to increase safe water coverage in the country,” says the president.
Piped water main network system increased to 1,200 in urban areas and over 2,000 gravitational flow systems by 2019 up from 37 and over 42, respectively, in 1986.
In the last four years, over 720,000 new customers including industrial/institutional/commercial customer base were connected to the water supply network.
Museveni says NWSC will soon complete the Kampala Water Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Project, which involves: construction of the Katosi Drinking Water Treatment Plant with capacity to produce 160 million litres per day and Katosi-Kampala transmission mains.
NWSC will expand and develop sewage treatment system in Gaba and Mukono sub-catchments in the Kampala Metropolitan and work on water and sanitation projects in Hoima, Masindi,
Kasese, Fort Portal, Lira, Jinja/Njeru, Lugazi and Tororo.
In addition, NWSC is to embark on construction of Karuma water works, Gulu-Karuma transmission mains, supplying water from Karuma through Kamdini, Minakulu, Bobi-Palenga and Koro Abili; improve and upgrade water supply and sanitation in Adjumani urban area, including support to refugees and refugee hosting communities, Kapeeka in Nakaseke, Sembabule and Wakiso.
NWSC towns increased from 253 as at June 30, 2019 to 258 towns as at June 30, 2020. This has led to a 48% growth in the number of people served, from 10.6 million as at June 2019 to 15.7 million as at June 2020.
However, the population served has been outstripped by the growth in the target population in these towns. The target population has grown by 58%, from 14.2million as at June 2019 to 22.5 million as at June 2020.
The increasing geographical coverage and network expansion beyond the municipal boundaries has raised the target population leading to a decline in service coverage from 74% to 70% as at June 2020.
In pursuance of Museveni’s manifesto undertaking, the NWSC is implementing a project dubbed, 100% Service Coverage Acceleration Project (SCAP100) whose key objective is to ensure all villages in areas where the Corporation operates have access to safe water through installation of at least two Public Taps (PSPs) or a PSP per 200 people per village.
As at June 2020, the total number of villages under NWSC jurisdiction was 16,130villages. Out of this, 8,357 villages had access to safe water mainly arising from intensification of PSP installation under SCAP100.
This leaves 7,773 villages in NWSC operational areas yet to be covered. NWSC is committed, with support from the central government and the development partners to accelerate the refurbishment, expansion and development of the water Infrastructure so that Ugandans in the remaining7,773 villages can have access to safe piped water.
NWSC operates centralized sewerage systems for collecting, treating and discharging effluent in 17 towns out of 258 towns with a total sewerage pipe network of 693km and 23,914 connections.
Ugandans using NWSC sewer services grew by 10% from 750,629 to 826,965 as at June 2020. NWSC sewer network at parish level has also grown by 3% from 3,495,376 to 3,608,711people.
The growth in number of people using NWSC sewer services has thus led to a growth in sewer coverage from 21.5% as at end of June 2019 to 23% as at end of June 2020.The sewerage coverage is still low due to the limited pipe network coverage.
Government plans to complete construction work on the following gravity flow schemes: Kyanvuma, Lambala (Iganga), Buseta, Kasasira, Kameke (Pallisa) and Kapala, Kidetok (Serere).
The others are; Lirima – Phase II (Manafwa): Bukedea (Sironko, Kween, Kapchorwa, Bulambuli), Ntoroko (Ntoroko) and Orom (Kitgum).
Museveni says his government will construct new large gravity flow schemes in Siabona Phase1 (Bugiri–Namayingo); Nyamugasani Phase I (Kasese); Bitsya (Buhweju), Bwambara – Bugangari (Rukungiri); Ngoma – Wakyato (Nakaseke); Ogili (Agago); and Potika (Lamwo).
Further, Museveni says they will complete and expand, under a phased approach, five-water systems in Nyabuhikye and Kikyenkye (Ibanda), Shuuku and Masyoro (Sheema), Bukedea Phase II (Sironko, Kween, Kapchorwa, Bulambuli), Kabuyanda water supply (Isingiro), Rwebisengo – Kanaara Phase II (Ntoroko), Orom Phase II (Kitgum/Agago/Pader) water systems.
In addition, government will drill 5,000 environmentally friendly and sustainable hand-powered boreholes countrywide, install 2,060 environmentally friendly and sustainable solar-powered boreholes to increase safe water coverage in the least served villages and rehabilitate old rural piped water supply schemes.
Mr Museveni plans to promote rainwater harvesting by reducing the cost of acquiring necessary equipment such as water tanks. This water will be used for household consumption and irrigation purposes.
Government will also develop large diameter wells in water stressed parts of the country covering Karamoja region, the low-lying, dry expanses of Isingiro, Ntungamo, Kiruhura, Yumbe, Zombo, Koboko, Moyo, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Rakai, Buyende and Kaliro districts.
Museveni has promised to pump water to water-stressed areas in Isingiro, Kiruhura/Kazo, West Nile, Kyoga basin, Nkanka (Kisoro) and Muko (Rubanda); promote appropriate sanitation and hygiene technologies such as bio-digestors across the country and construct sanitation facilities on highways, institutions (including schools and health centres) and public places.
In small towns and growth centres, government plans to construct piped water supply and improved public sanitation facilities in public places and selected institutions in Busia, Butaleja, Busolwe, Budaka, Kadama, Tirinyi, Kibuku, Kyegegwa, Mpara, Ruyonza, Namasale, Kaliro, Namungalwe, Kanoni, Ngando, Bulo, Nsabwe, Ngomanene, Kiriri, Bukandula, Rugaga, Kabulasoke, Butiti, Kifampa, Kisozi and Kajumiro.
The others are; Maddu, Rakai, Nsaro, Rumbugu, Birabago, Buyamba, Rwanda- Kooki, Dwaniro, Byakabanda, Kamukala, Kibbale, Bugadde, Kityerera, Busakira, Kuluuba, Kayunga, Busaana, Kamuli, Buikwe, Dokolo, Kapchorwa, Budibugyo, Kyenjojo, Katooke, Nakasongola, Namayumba-Busunju, Kangulumira-Nazigo and Kabimbiri-Kasawo.
In addition, piped water and sanitation facilities will be constructed in Igayaza-Kikwaya, Kasanda, Lwengo, Bugadde-Idudi, Serere area, Soroti-Amuria-Orungo Corner, Ngenge-Chapskunya-Kiriki and Bugweri. Then; Bwondah, Yumbe, Nwoya, Lamwo, Zombo, Amuru, Aleptong, Kole, Omoro, Maracha, Nyamarebe-Rushango-Buremba, Burungi, Engari-Nkungu-Rwemikona, Rubanda, Rukiga, Karenga, Kapedo, Abim, Nyakwai, Alerek, Karita, Kalapata, Kaabong, Kawalakol, Nabilatuk, Namalu, Napak, Kangole, Kakingol, Nadiket, Moroto,
Kotido, Nakapelimoru, Kathile and Loregai.