The Government of the Republic of Uganda recently commissioned the Ntungamo Water Supply and Sanitation System, financed by the African Development Fund (ADF). It is part of the second phase of the regional Lake Victoria Water Supply and Sanitation Program (LVWATSAN II).
This follows an ADF grant of UA 72.98 million (about USD 102 million) approved by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2010 to implement the LVWATSAN II program in the five East African Community partner states – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
The project’s objective is to address pollution of the lake through boosting sustainable water supply and sanitation infrastructure to 15 secondary towns within the Lake Victoria Basin. In Uganda, the program target towns are Mayuge, the cluster of Buwama-Kayabwe, Bukakata and Ntungamo.
The Minister of Water and Environment, Professor Ephraim Kamuntu, presided over the May 5, 2016 commissioning, the second in Uganda under the LVWATSAN II program. It followed an earlier commissioning of the Mayuge Water Supply System.
Christopher Mutasa, Principal Analyst with the AfDB’s East Africa Regional Resource Centre and Andrew Mbiro, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist in the Bank’s office in Uganda, were present. Other organisations represented included the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), an arm of the EAC, the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), representatives of the business community, local leaders, and project beneficiaries.
In his speech, Water Minister Kamuntu praised the Bank for its financial support to many projects in Uganda. He described the Bank as the sector’s partner of choice that was ready to listen to country needs and aligns its interventions with Uganda’s priorities.
He underscored the importance of piped water systems in freeing “the African woman and girl child from the poverty trap, where they dedicate much of their time to carrying water and firewood on their heads for long distances.”
The Bank’s Resident Representative in Uganda, Jeremiah Mutonga, in a speech read on his behalf by Christopher Mutasa, noted that the NWSC, a competent national operator, was ready to take over operation and maintenance of the Ntungamo water and sanitation system.
This, he emphasized, would ensure sustainability of the installed infrastructure, triggering economic and social benefits, including, but not limited to improved girl child enrollment and retention in school. “Equitable and sustainable use of water will lead to improved quality of life of the African population, help light and power Africa, feed Africa, integrate Africa and industrialise Africa,” he said.
He reiterated the Bank’s appreciation of the deepening relationship with Uganda, and the water sector in particular, urging it to urgently implement the recently approved second phase of the Water Supply and Sanitation Program (WSSP II), which is being financed through an ADF loan amounting to UA 65.8 million (about USD 93m).