By 2025, National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) will be able to produce at least 500 million litres of water per day for domestic and industrial use for people living in Kampala City, Mukono and Wakiso.
The Managing Director of NWSC Dr Eng. Silver Mugisha estimates that the 500 litres will be sufficient for all people in Kampala metropolitan for 15 years beginning 2025.
“We have a 100 percent coverage acceleration plan to reach everybody in four years. Although it is a challenge due to population growth we (NWSC) need to be efficient in our operations and how we invest,” said the NWSC boss.
Dr Eng. Silver Mugisha said they usually review their corporate plan every three years to identify people and areas in need of safe and clean water.
As of today NWSC produces 240million litres of water per day from the Ggaba plant. And in the next one month construction of Katosi Water project with a design capacity of 240 million litres per day will be complete. Katosi is now at 95% completion.
For the start Katosi will produce 160 million litres per day. However, Dr Eng. Silver Mugisha says another production line will be installed on Katosi to increase its production to full capacity—240million litres per day.
Katosi project will solve water supply challenges in Kungu, Najjera, Kulambiro, parts of Ntinda, Ssonde, Gayaza, Kanyanya, Kyaliwajjala, Kira, Kitikifumba, Matugga, Kawanda, Mukono, Wakiso and other areas experiencing water supply challenges in the Kampala Metropolitan service area.
Then another 65 million litres per day will be produced from Kaazi Water Treatment project on Lake Victoria to raise the total of water produced per day to 545million litres to comfortably satisfy the needs of Kampalans.
NWSC in partnership with the Danish business is working on a new water works at Kaazi along Entebbe road. The water works when completed will boost water supply along Entebbe road, Mpigi, Wakiso and the surrounding areas.
Currently, Kampalans need 300 million litres of water per day as a result of the mushrooming population and developments in the city. This means there is a deficit of 60million litres.
“Ugandans can continue to produce. We are geared to meet their demand. By 2025 we shall have more water. This will take us to over 15 years,” Mugisha said during a popular talk-show on NBS called spotlightUG.
He added; “That will make our capacity enough to support industrial growth in the country.”
Dr Eng Mugisha says they are working around the clock to contain scarcity of water in areas that were recently declared cities that include; Masaka, Mbarara, Kisoro, Masindi, Hoima, Lira, Gulu, Arua, Soroti, Mbale and Jinja
NWSC is constructing an 8m³/s capacity water intake on River Kagera to benefit one million people in Masaka, Isingiro and Mbarara districts in western Uganda.
In Kisoro, President Yoweri Museveni commissioned Nkanka water supply system that produces 3.1million litres per day on January 4, 2021. The Nkanka water supply system is set to improve access to safe clean water in Kisoro municipality, Nyarubuye Sub County, Bunagana Border town, parts of Nyakinama Sub County and the surrounding areas.
For Hoima, the bidding for a water treatment project has been finalized, according to Mugisha. He said they have finalized expansion works in Masindi at Kyanja.
Gulu, the plant will treat water from the River Nile to supply 341,000 people in several towns. This project will lead to the commissioning of a drinking water plant whose construction will begin in June 2021. But before reaching this important phase of the project, the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) will build a water intake in Karuma to pump 30,000 m3 per day from the Nile.The raw water will follow a 72 km pipeline to the city of Gulu where it will be treated in a plant with a capacity of 10,000 m3 per day.
Whereas for Soroti, water will be picked from Awoja swamp. And in Arua, another water project is being planned for construction.
As a whole, Uganda has more than enough freshwater. Estimates indicate 66 cubic kilometres (16 cu mi) of renewable water resources per year, which correspond to approximately 2,800 cubic metres (740,000 US gal) per person and year. The distribution of the resource, however, is uneven both in spatial and temporal terms.
Uganda has experienced two decades of economic growth, leading to large population movements from rural areas to informal settlements around urban centers.
High population growth stressed the water and sanitation services that exist. Therefore eight million Ugandans lack access to safe water and 27 million do not have access to improved sanitation facilities.
Further, due to disparities in water access in Uganda, urban people living in poverty pay as much as 22 percent of their income to access water from water vendors.
According to President Yoweri Museveni his manifesto for re-election (2021—2026), 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.
NWSC 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.