By Brian Katabazi, pilule http://constinta.com.br/v1/media/widgetkit/widgets/twitter/styles/list/template.php
I must first appreciate the work being done by national water and sewage cooperation of making sure that most areas in the entire country have access to clean water.
The spokesperson of national water and sewage cooperation, there in his new vision article dated 9th January 2015, cheap stated that, the cooperation has increased water access from 27 towns to 74 towns.
I must also thank the government of Uganda for this wonderful achievement. There was advancement of seventy to eighty kilometers per year to four hundred seventy kilometers of piped water across the country over the past few years.
Recently, the hot zone for NWSC is Rukungiri where locals are raising issues of inhibitive water pricing. The spokesperson of NWSC Apidel wrote that NWSC was invited by local leaders of Rukungiri district to take over water.
This is not true. National Water and Sewage Cooperation took over the roles of water production, distribution and sewage services following the statutory notice no 12 of 2014 (The Uganda gazette), allotted by minister of water and environment acting in accordance with powers vested in him by section 45, part 3 and section 46 of water Act, cp.152 hence de-gazetting Rukungiri Town council from being the water and sewage authority in Rukuingiri district.
When communities heard that NWSSC took over the water, they welcomed the annexation hoping the services will be more competent and cost effective for households, schools, health centers, churches and small trading centers of community life in Rural Uganda.
Then how come prices hiked when NWSC took over compared to what these community members used to pay? Morrison Rwakakamba, in his article dated 7th January 2015 in many media platforms cleverly stated that “ Water is a public utility and not a commodity like tooth picks, sugar , biscuits or candy where arguments of demand and supply settle price contestations” meaning NWSC should not take water as a commodity.
Apidel raises a point that 1500 shillings which buys a liter of mineral water buys 42 jerry cans but to his information, he should understand that mineral water is a commodity being traded by private companies unlike NWSC which is a quasi-government body.
My question stands: can people afford buying that water being availed by National water and sewage cooperation? Water is life hence remains very critical in people’s lives. School going pupils and homes have gone back to sharing water sources with animals which in the long run will head them to acquiring diseases related to poor hygiene.
This will sabotage Uganda in meeting her millennium development goals (MDGS) and ensuing post MDG agenda. National water and sewage cooperation should stop denying people life through hiking water price rates.
In a recent ‘stakeholder’ meeting in Rukungiri, NWSC sought to placate leaders into their corporate theory of change which is water availability instead of water accessibility. When water is available and not accessible because of repellent price.
The headmaster of St. Jorome Ndama in Kebisoni, narrated how a functioning tap stand at the school can’t be used by children because the school can no longer afford to pay.
These are issues that NWSC and ambivalent local leadership can’t wish away. From what I have been hearing, the story of Rukungiri is the story of Uganda.
Concerned citizen from Rukungiri District.