KAMPALA: The top management of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) held talks with the French Ambassador to Uganda on the status of access to clean water and sanitation in Uganda, where the Corporation was commended for the developments achieved in the water sector.
The talks followed a courtsey visit by H.E Xavier STICKER, Ambassador of France to Uganda to the Managing Director of NWSC Dr. Eng Silver Mugisha, on 10th February 2023 at the Corporation’s headquarters in Nakasero-Kampala.
During the meeting , Ambassador Xavier Sticker resounded the French Government’s commitment to access to clean water, Sanitation as well as environmental protection, objectives he said are shared by both Uganda and France, which necessitated discussion into how these needs are brought closer to the people in Uganda.
He remarked, “NWSC is a highly respected utility globally. We are here to understand your challenges during these hard economic times and chat ways to address them, understand your governance structure and service delivery acceleration plans.”
The Ambassador also reiterated the importance of the water and environment sector towards the transformation of lives of people in any country and the merits of integrated water resources where he pledged the Government of France’s support towards achieving these goals through knowledge sharing and benchmarking visits between sector officials from the Governments of Uganda and France.
Dr. Mugisha thanked the French Government for its contribution towards Development of the water and sanitation sector in Uganda and called for continued support as the Uganda strides towards achievement of the SDG6 that targets availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all people across the world.
The Managing Director of NWSC, Dr. Mugisha prized the French Government for the unwavering support through the Agence Francaise De Development (AFD) that has partnered with NWSC on a number of water projects including; Katosi Water Supply System, Water Supply Improvement Projects for Hoima, Lira, Fortportal Cities, Kampala Water network restructuring, Isingiro- Mbarara- Masaka water supply project among many others.
Dr. Mugisha also proposed areas of further corporation and improvement between the two Governments especially in areas of reducing project time and cost overruns, flexibility in the procurement process to attract more contractors, the need to incorporate Artificial Intelligence technology to fight water losses, especially water theft and other Infrastructure projects to boost service delivery.
“Big consumers and other unscrupulous people are using sophisticated magnetic materials to steal our water. Working together to develop AI technology to address this challenge will be a game changer,” Eng Mugisha said.
He also discussed the issue of cost of water in Uganda, revealing that NWSC’s tariff structure is anchored towards service for the people, and not full cost recovery, noting that the amount charged only meets the costs of abstraction, water treatment and distribution of water.
NWSC At a Glance
NWSC is currently operating in 263 cities and towns, while water connection in December 2022 stood at 874,129, and the Corporation’s piped water network grew to 21,794Kms in 2022 from 5,073Kms in 2012 and same growth was recorded in sewerage connections to 28,007Km in 2022, up from 17,653Km in 2012.
The meeting was attended by the Agence Francaise De Development (AFD) Director, Hatem Chakroun, a delegation from the Embassy of France in Uganda, NWSC Deputy Managing Director Technical Services Eng Johnson Amayo and the Director Projects and Capital Development Eng Paddy Twesigye.