The Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), will this week, 17th to 22nd March, hold the first-ever Uganda Water and Environment Week in Entebbe. It is going to be an annual event.
In collaboration with key stakeholders, MWE is following the tradition where such events have been successfully held in other countries. The US, United Kingdom, Germany and Kenya have previously has such events.
Sweden initiated the principle of the World Water Week back in 1991, aimed at the effective management of water resources and distribution for sustainable socio-economic development.
While addressing the press Thursday at its headquarters in Luzira, on the theme: “Water and Environment A Catalyst for Achieving Middle Income Status 2020”, MWE Permanent Secretary, Alfred Okot Okidi, said, “It is important that the commemoration of the water is linked to Uganda’s national development strategy, the National Development Plan II [NDP II], which focuses on achieving structural information through increased industrial activity. This will have emphasis on manufacturing and value-addition in agro-processing.”
He said that the Water Week will increase public awareness on water resources and environment for growth and development. It is intended to showcase recent innovations, technologies and development in the water and environment sector for efficient water and sanitation service delivery, he added.
Okidi said that the number of issues to be discussed at the Directorate of Water Resource Management in Entebbe will involve: management in integrated water resources; water and sanitation development wastewater and pollution; water and natural resources; the stakeholders’ water-energy-food-ecosystem nexus; and, the engagement in financing in the water sector.
However, Okidi noted that, according to the study by Industrial Economics which was done in 2016, for Uganda to meet its Vision 2040, it will necessitate heavy investments in water resources and environmental management, and the tripling of reliable water deliveries to today’s levels.
He observed that if water for manufacturing is limited because of poor management, the contribution of water-resources development and environmental management economy, the 2040 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would decline by five percent. “As we seek to industrialize and meet our national development goals, water management will have to be critical to ensure steady growth of manufacturing in the agricultural and service sectors,” Okidi summed.