A total of 36,614 villages are currently accessing safe water, bringing the rural water coverage in 2017 up to 70 percent from 68 percent.
This revelation was Thursday made by Water and Environment minister Sam Cheptoris.
He attributed this achievement to the NRM government manifesto, which prioritized programmes focusing on provision of access to safe and clean water.
Mr Cheptoris added that the government is making efforts to increase water for production storage facilities by investing in construction of multi-purpose water reservoirs to boost agricultural production through irrigation.
Under the ministry of Water, Cheptoris explained that a number of pipe water supply and sanitation has been constructed across the country.
According to Eng. Johnson Amayo, the Deputy Managing Director Technical Services of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), currently 234 towns in Uganda are accessing safe clean piped water supplied by NWSC.
In its projection, NWSC estimates that by 2021, the water coverage in all towns of Uganda will be at 100 percent.
Cheptoris and Amayo revealed the status of safe water coverage on Thursday afternoon at the Uganda Media Centre while reviewing the performance of the ministry to mark the NRM government Manifesto Week.
The Manifesto Week is organized by the President’s office. Willis Bashaha, the director of the Manifesto Implementation Unit in the office of the President said the water sector is fundamental for the economy and the livelihoods of Ugandans.
He acknowledged that the Water ministry is among the best performing ministries.
Cheptoris however said safe water coverage in urban areas has stagnated at 71 percent due to rapid population growth and the creation of 37 new town towns.
Government, Cheptoris , within two years constructed 2,267 bore holes(hand pumps and production wells) country wide, under the ministry and the district water and sanitation conditional grant.
“It also constructed Nyarwodho GFS Phase I in Nebbi district, serving 29,800 people. It covers sub counties of Alwi, Nyaravur, Kucwinyi and Nebbi,” he added.
Other ongoing projects include Bukwo GFS Phase II, in Bukwo district. Cheptoris said it’s at 80% completion level, expected by close of next month to be operating.
Kampala Sanitation programme is progressing, construction works at Gulu water and sanitation project is at 20%.
The minister also said the construction works for the Katosi-Kampala Transmission water treatment plant is going on.
Cheptoris explained that within two years, his government has put in place elaborated policies, laws and regulations to guide the management of the environment.
To fulfill its commitment, government supplied a total of 1,856,696 seedlings to districts of Bukwo, Mbale, Namisindwa , Tochii and Doho.
Cheptoris also said National Forestry Authority supplied five million assorted seedlings to local communities around the forest reserves. And NFA established 244 hactre of forest plantation.
Halt sand mining companies
Government, the minister revealed that through NEMA stopped 19 companies involved in sand mining in Mpigi and Kalungu districts. This was due to non- compliance to permit approval and issuance conditions.
Reviewing NEMA Act
NEMA Act, Cheptoris said it’s being reviewed and the bill is before Parliament. He said the bill is key in management of environmental aspects of oil and Gas, Electoric waste as Uganda enters into the oil and Gas production stage.
Ban on Kaveera
The minister explained that a survey was conducted to determine the stakeholders’ views, amidst resistance from the manufacturers and the suppliers.
The findings from the 348 survey points, Cheptoris said, revealed that 82 percent were in support of the ban on kaveera, 31 percent are aware of the dangers, 75 percent support the ban and 45 percent acknowledge and appreciate the role played by NEMA in operationalization of the ban.
“The findings indicate that the public is aware about the dangers of the polythene bag. And they know the alternatives as well,” the minister stated.