KAMPALA: President Museveni is next month expected to commission 16 piped water projects in several cattle corridor districts built by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), officials have said.
While announcing the road map to their Golden Jubilee celebrations on Tuesday, Dr Silver Mugisha, the NWSC managing director, said they expect the President to unveil the projects to the public on December 2.
“The President will unveil the Kapeeka, Sembabule, Kapchorwa, Fort Portal, Bushenyi, Lira, Jinja and Katotsi water production projects, the Bugolobi sewerage plant and other sewer projects. Unveiling means these are projects government of Uganda completed,” he said.
Dr Mugisha added that the President will also flag off some water projects, which they are to embark on. The projects are in the districts of Bushenyi, Lyantonde, Kyankwanzi, Kalungu, Mbale, Gulu, Adjumani, Lira, Soroti, Mbale, Ibanda, Hoima, Kasese and Fort Portal.
NWSC earmarked Shs95b for the completed projects and those still under construction.
Dr Mugisha said most of the new projects are at different stages, including procurement, implementation or design. He emphasised that these projects are for domestic and industrial use, which are within their mandate while the Ministry of Water and Environment is also undertaking other water projects in Nakasongola and Karamoja.
Eng Badru Kiggundu, the NWSC board chairperson, observed that since the water body’s inception in 1972 through an Act of Parliament, one of their key achievements is the ability to continue delivery quality service through the turbulent times of 1970s and 1980s to date.
He added that the corporation has expanded the footprint from three towns to 263 and increased the number of people it is serving with piped water from 200,000 to 18 million. It has also increased the network length from 200kms to 22,000kms, connecting water to 900,000 customers which has accelerated industrial development and improving the quality of health of Ugandans.
Leaders in cattle corridor districts have welcomed the projects.
Mr Nyombi Mukiibi Kamad, the Kalungu District chairperson, said for the last three years, they have not had reliable rain for agriculture and animal rearing, especially in Kyamulibwa and Lwabenge sub-counties.
He said they have tried several interventions, including irrigation, in vain.
“We had specific crops that were earmarked for irrigation but when the farmers went to the market, they found the prices of solar water pumps were not affordable. At some point, water became so scarce that a jerrycan was being sold at between Shs1,000 and Shs2,000, especially in Lwabenge Sub-county,” he said.
Mr Fred Muhangi, the Lyantonde District chairperson, said water shortage has always been a problem in the area, affecting milk, animal and crop production. He said the valley dams, which were constructed in 1954, keep drying up and government has never rehabilitated them or even built new ones.