Kampala water decry increased illegal connections in 8 months - Daily Post Uganda

Kampala water decry increased illegal connections in 8 months

The General Manager of Kampala Water, Eng. Mahmood Lutaaya In a recent interview on Star TV

KAMPALA: In a recent interview on Star TV, Eng. Mahmood Lutaaya, the General Manager of Kampala Water, shed light on a concerning issue of illegal water use plaguing the water supply system, and the National Water and Sewerage Corporation’s (NWSC) business in general. This clandestine activity not only threatens the integrity of water supply systems but also undermines service delivery, leading to a cascade of consequences affecting communities and the sustainability of NWSC.

Water, often hailed as the essence of life, is indeed a precious resource vital for the sustenance of communities and ecosystems alike. However, the shadow of water theft continues to loom, posing a significant threat as communities often face disrupted service delivery, experiencing intermittent supply or, in severe cases, water shortages. This places an undue burden on law-abiding customers, who suffer the consequences of inadequate access to clean water.

Eng. Mahmood Lutaaya during the talk show disclosed that in the last 8 months (from July 2023 to February 2024), the Kampala Water team identified over 600 cases of illegal water use. Alarmingly, only 66% of the culprits responded to fines and made payments. Despite implementing various innovations to curb illegal water use, the battle is far from over. A concerted effort is needed to address this silent crisis, encompassing legal measures, usage meter audits, community engagement, staff integrity management practices, aggressive field engagements, and heightened awareness campaigns.

The ramifications of water theft extend beyond mere inconvenience. Financial losses incurred due to stolen water, unaddressed leakages, and bursts pose an economic burden on NWSC operations, hindering crucial investments in maintenance, infrastructure upgrades, and water treatment processes. Consequently, the long-term viability of water supply systems is compromised, endangering both current and future business growth if left unchecked.

The fight against water theft requires a multifaceted approach. Legal measures must be rigorously enforced to deter perpetrators, while usage meter audits can help pinpoint areas of high consumption or suspicious activity. Engaging with communities is crucial in fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility for water resources. More so, stringent integrity management practices among staff members are essential to uphold the credibility of NWSC.

In addition to these measures, aggressive field engagements are necessary to identify and rectify leaks, bursts, and unauthorized connections promptly. Furthermore, raising awareness about the dangers of water theft is paramount, educating the public about the adverse effects on service delivery and the community at large.

As Kampala Water endeavors to combat illegal water use, the support and cooperation of stakeholders are imperative. By working together to tackle this issue head-on, we can safeguard the integrity of water supply systems, ensure equitable access to clean water, and foster sustainable growth for the future.

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