KAMPALA: The National Water and Sewerage Corporation Managing Director, Dr. Silver Mugisha has said the corporation is seeking partnership with UPDF’s Luweero Industries to help them manufacture smart prepaid water meters locally.
“We want to explore possibilities of manufacturing our own smart meters that are expected to have a lower economic cost. National Water and Sewerage Corporation already has a prototype of smart meter technology and we request you(Museveni) to ask management of UPDF Luweero Industries to collaborate with us in order to explore how to go into industrial production,” Dr. Silver Mugisha said.
“UPDF Luweero Industries has a good track record of putting ideas from research to industrial production level and we think if we can work with them, we will be able to produce our own smart meters.”
Dr. Mugisha was on Friday afternoon speaking during a function to commemorate 50 years of National Water and Sewerage Corporation at Kololo independence grounds.
The NWSC boss explained that the current prepaid water meters are so expensive, adding that it would benefit the country if smart ones are manufactured locally.
“They are five times more expensive than the usual conventional meters and attract high costs due to maintenance expenses. The argument of those propagating the other prepaid meters is to make Uganda a supermarket for foreign manufacturers. We prefer manufacturing our own smart meters that have a lower economic cost.”
Speaking during the function, President Museveni lauded NWSC for being one of the few profitable government entities but has also excelled in provision of excellent services to Ugandans.
“Thank you for connecting more people to piped water. Even when we came in 1986, most of the places in Kampala including Nakasero didn’t have enough water but now all of them have it. I thank you for showing others that government entities can make money,” Museveni said.
The president said government initially rooted for privatization because state entities could not make profits but noted that NWSC has changed the narrative.
He said he was happy that NWSC currently makes shs500 billion per year and shs109 billions of this is in profits.
“We had said government companies were full of thieves and had given up on them and went for private sector. Now NWSC is showing that not all are thieves. I congratulate you for passing the test.”
He explained that NWSC has been able to contribute to Uganda’s development by utilizing the available resources for the country.
“I thank the management and board of NWSC for partially developing the capacity of this corporation. They started with few towns and few people but now serving 18 million people out of 43 million.”
According to the board chairperson for NWSC, Eng. Dr.Badru Kiggundu, in the 50 years of existence, they have grown in the geographical area they cover from only three towns of Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja to 263 service areas including cities, municipalities and town centres whereas the number served has also gone up from less than 500,000 in 1972.
“NWSC has been able to increase in the pipe network length, from 250 kms to 22,000 kms. We have been able to support to health improvement and industrial development of Uganda,” Dr.Kiggundu said.
Dr.Silver Mugisha said NWSC now serves 18 million people away from the 4.5 million in 2012 and is looking at 25 million by the year 2026.
“We have been able to increase on the number of towns we serve from 23 in 2012 to 263 and looking at 300 towns by 2026. The number of connections has gone up from 296000 in 2012 to 874000 and looking at 1.4 million connections by the year 2026.”
During the function at Kololo, President Museveni also virtually commissioned over 50 NWSC service delivery projects across the country.
The projects have been designed to improve the lives of the people of Uganda.