Uganda: Four New Cities Lack Piped Water

Kampala — The Ministry of Local Government has said it is beginning to plan the creation of standard social amenities in the seven new cities, which became operational last week.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr Ben Kumumanya, the permanent secretary, said they could not create the social amenities in the new cities before their boundaries had been created and certified.

"Apart from Hoima and Mbarara cities, we had to know which town council, sub-county or township accepted to be part of the new cities. This was a voluntary exercise. Whoever wanted to join the city, we asked them to go back and make a resolution and their own request but not us to force them," he said.

Mr Kumumanya explained that all the programmes and projects, which have been going on in the newly absorbed townships, town councils and sub-counties, will continue running but the planning for the new cities in their entirety starts this month.

In an interview on Thursday, Dr Chris Ebal, the chairperson of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) Board, said even before the operationalisation of the new cities, they had already envisaged the need to create new water and sewerage systems there.

He said this is the reason NWSC constructed and rehabilitated water treatment plants in Lira, Jinja and Arua cities.

Dr Ebal said Mbarara and Masaka cities have a project under design to pump water from Lake Victoria through Rakai District. This water, he said, will also supply Isingiro District. He said the construction of the project will start next year.

He said the water supply system for Fort Portal City requires augmentation with boreholes, adding that they plan to construct a water treatment plant on River Mpanga. Dr Ebal said the corporation was forced to construct a new water treatment plant for Gulu City at Karuma and currently, they are laying water pipes.

Dr Ebal explained that Mbale City, which is surrounded by towns such as Sironko, Budaka and Butaleja, needs to improve its water supply through a World Bank-funded project aimed at tapping water from Mt Elgon.

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