The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), Alfred Okot Okidi, has said that the majority of people in Ugandan villages have access to clean water. The ministry’s sub -sector of Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS), has so far reached over 70% in rural areas.
“The Ministry has made tremendous strides in provision of safe water, sanitation services and environment natural resource protection. The national safe water coverage for rural and urban water supply continues to increase tremendously over time,” he said.
The intention is to fully reach every person in rural Uganda with clean water. In the process MWE will be fulfilling the second National Development Plan (NDP2) b y 2020. “Last year by June the access to safe water increased from 67% to 72% within a kilometer access; while in urban areas, access to safe water with 0.2 kms.
According to Water Supply and Sanitation sub sector, the percentage of improved water sources that are functional in rural areas with safe and effective sanitation is at 85%; and at 95% in the urban areas,” Okidi added.
The MWE has also increased water storage from 37.2 million cubic meters to 38.9 million cubic meters. The Manager for Business Development at Water for People Uganda (WPU), George Mugenyi, said, “We are using the model in reaction to Vision 2040, which calls for piped water supply throughout the country and Sustainable Development Goal 6, which calls for universal access to water and sanitation.
“Our aim is to see that everyone accesses clean and safe water; and this is one of the few ways through which we can achieve that,” Mugenyi added.
And MWE has constructed new water supply schemes where the average per capita investment cost for the new water facilities increased to US$ 54m in 2016/17 But this was below the targeted per capita investment cost of US$ 85m.
Operation and Maintenance support to the piped is managed by NWSC six regional umbrella organizations so as to regulate water sector and balance its commercial access. In 2015/2016, 944,739 persons were served with new improved water supplies.
In the move to meet its target and discuss strategic issues with key partners, the MWE plans to hold the first ever Uganda Water and Environment Week – 2018 at Kololo Independence Grounds from 17th – 23rd, March .Also, the World Forest Day on 21st March; World Water Day on 22nd March and World Meteorological Day on 23rd March, will be commemorated.
All these days aim to connect with a contributing to the national development goals through effective management of water and environment resources and distribution for sustainable socio-economic development.
By focusing on integrated water resources management, other issues to be addressed will include: water and sanitation development, waste-water and pollution management, sustainable forest management, weather and climate change, water-energy -food -ecosystem nexus, stakeholder engagement, and water and environment-sector financing.
According to the ministry this is to increase public awareness on water and environment resources for growth and development while celebrating 25 years of adoption of the Integrated Water Resources Management in Uganda.
It will also launch the Water Resources Institute in Entebbe, showcase recent innovations, technologies and developments in the Water and Environment Sector for efficient, water and environment services-delivery.
Another interest is to explore business opportunities and trends in the Water and Environment Sector; provide a forum for exchange of ideas for long-term business partnerships in the sector; and, identify potential partners to increase the sector financing.
The ministry’s activities this week included: Operation Access to Safe Clean Water for 116,919 people in Bududa Town Council and in the six sub-counties of Bududa, Nabweya, Bushiribo, Bukigayi, Bulucheke and Bushiyi,. The regulation team has also inspected Masafa Water Supply in Busia and Nakapiripirit Water Supply, with the aim of improving accessibility to water supply in those local areas. WPU has been piloting the model in Biguli, Sembabule District, since 2013, and is now fanning it out.