The National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) on Monday launched works of a donor-funded project to upgrade capacity of its water storage and supply facilities for Kampala.
Water and Environment Minister Ephraim Kamuntu flagged off the Euro 31 million (Shs 103.5bn) project at Ggaba, where existing NWSC facilities will be refurbished to boost efficiency and capacity. Currently, the Ggaba treatment complex’s supply capacity is 180,000 cubic metres per day, which will increase to 240,000 cubic metres per day.
Four new reservoir tanks, with a total capacity of 8,000 cubic metres (eight million litres), will be installed at Namasuba hill in the first phase of the project, to boost supply to eastern Kampala.
Areas such as Lubowa, Zzana, Akright Estates along Entebbe road and Kyengera on Masaka road, which are currently water stressed, will heavily benefit from the new reservoirs at Namasuba. An additional four tanks with similar capacity will be installed in the second phase by 2017, Eng. Johnson Amayo, NWSC chief manager planning and capital development, said.
The water to the Namasuba tanks will be pumped from Ggaba, a stretch of 9.5km of pipeline that involves displacing some people along the way. At least four homes will be razed down between Salama and Namasuba, with compensation for the homes and other personal properties, estimated at Shs 600m.
French firm Sogea Satom, the project contractors, said work would be completed by August, 2015. The European Investment Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD), the German Development Agency (KfW) and EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund have jointly funded the project.
Speaking at Monday’s ceremony, Kamuntu declared that the days of dry zones in Kampala were numbered. Once works are completed, the city should have adequate water supply and dry zones would be history, Kamuntu said.
The minister noted that the existing Ggaba facilities were built to serve Kampala when the population and demand were small, but the situation has greatly changed, with a fast-growing middle-class and bulging population in general. Currently, NWSC has an estimated three million customers in Greater Kampala metropolitan area and the surrounding parts of Wakiso and Mukono districts.
Dr Silver Mugisha, the NWSC managing director, said that works on Ggaba complex, construction of new pipeline and reservoirs fitted within the corporation’s five-year strategic direction to improve service delivery and access to safe water.
By 2018, NWSC wants its service coverage extended from 78 to 85 per cent, according to its strategic direction launched last December. Accordingly, NWSC targets to extend its service coverage from 34 towns to 80 in the next five years.