By Henry Mulindwa
In about 90 days from now, concerns among residents of Kampala metropolitan areas (encompassing Wakiso and Mukono) regarding shortage of drinking water will be history.
This is so because National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has intensified efforts to open its new water project at Katosi whose completion is expected by February 2021.
The new plant is expected to produce 240 litres of water per day although it will initially bring out 160million litres per day.
This was revealed by the Chairman of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) Board Dr. Eng. Badru Kiggundu.
He was speaking at the scientific water Baraza held at the NWSC International Resource Centre in Bugolobi Wankoko on Wednesday last week.
The Water Baraza is an annual event where NWSC interacts with customers, government officials, elected leaders and development partners.
The Baraza according to NWSC Corporate Affairs Manager Samuel Apedel provides an opportunity for NWSC to showcase it’s achievements and plans in addition to receiving feedback from its stakeholders. He said overall Katosi project completion stands over 80%, adding that Civil works for the treatment plant at Katosi are substantially done.
“The 55km pipeline from Katosi, Mukono, Seeta, Namugongo, Naalya, Ntinda to Naguru is over 85% done. The pipeline works are now being undertaken between Ntinda and Naguru and; the reservoir tanks in Nsumba, Hill, Ssonde Hill and Booster pumping station in Namugongo are substantially complete. Therefore, the remaining work includes electromechanical works which includes installation of pumps and electrical controls” Apedel explained. Dr. Kiggundu revealed that test pumping will commence in the period December 2020 and Jan 2021.
According to NWSC, demand for water in Kampala Water (Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono) is 300 million litres per day, but this can’t be met due to shortage in supply.
Dr. Kiggundu explained that Ggaba water works is currently able to produce 240 million litres per day leaving a shortage of 60 million liters and that this shortage affects places at the periphery of the network and those on hilly areas. He added that areas in the East of Kampala like Mukono, Seeta, Namugongo, Kyaliwajjala, Kira, Gayaza, Kasangati, Kyanja, Kanyanya are affected by intermittent water supply.
“The permanent solution is the ongoing Katosi Water Works. It has a capacity to supply 240 million litres per day but will initially add 160 million liters per day to the Kampala Water Supply Area” he said.He said that the additional 160 million litres of water per day from Katosi and 240 from Ggaba will take total day production to 400 million liters of water per day way above the current peak demand of 300 million litres daily.
“Therefore, from an Engineer’s point of view, I am confident that water from Katosi plant will be available sooner and more so around February next year” he said but however, urged customers that as they eagerly await this water service, they should at the same time look forward to maintaining the service by paying for it promptly to keep good partnership. Meanwhile, NWSC managing director Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha confirmed that the Katosi project should be complete by the first quarter of next year and that it would address the water needs of Kampala for the next two decades. Dr. Mugisha revealed that another water treatment plant is being planned in Kaazi Kigo to serve the water needs of the areas between Kampala and Entebbe, Kajjansi, parts of Masaka Road and Mpigi. “I want to assure our customers that NWSC is committed to providing safe and reliable water in all areas we operate” he said.
In another development, speaking by video link, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Keith Muhakanizi emphasized that Government will continue to provide funding to the water sector to improve the lives of the people of Uganda.