NAKASONGOLA: Construction works for the bulk water supply system targeting over 100,000 households in Nakasongola District and surrounding areas is now at 85% completion rate and has ignited hope for both the leaders and communities in the water-stressed cattle corridor area.
The piped water supply system funded by a Shs26.9billion African Development Fund (ADF) and the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Water and Environment to pump water from Lake Kyoga at the Kibuye landing site in Lwampanga Subcounty will boost safe water coverage for a bigger population that trek long distances for water from unsafe water sources in Nakasongola.
Edith Nakate, the Nakasongola Principal Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, believes that the piped water project is a timely intervention that will offset the challenge of constructing boreholes that get dry after a short period.
“A bigger area of Nakasongola district has a low water table. The boreholes get dry shortly after commissioning, rendering safe water accessibility complicated in most parts of Nakasongola. The Industrial City soon to be rolled out will also need the piped water,” she told Parliament Committee on National Economy shortly after an inspection of some of the water supply facilities under construction, including the water reservoir tanks and treatment plant at Kibuye village in Lwampanga Sub-county.
The government approved a loan to boost water supply for 10 water supply systems in 2018 under the Strategic Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project. Parliament is mandated to evaluate the progress of the projects and make recommendations.
“We are impressed that despite the setbacks brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the piped water supply system for Nakasongola has progressed. The contractor is left with about 15% of unfinished works that we believe will soon be accomplished,” the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. John Bosco Ikojo told the stakeholders shortly after inspecting the works in Nakasongola.
The Nakasongola water supply and sanitation system is being implemented in two phases, with the first phase works at 85% and is expected to be commissioned in December 2022.
Eng. Felix Twinomucunguzi, the Assistant Commissioner Urban Water Supply Department at the Ministry of Water and Environment, revealed that the cost required for the Nakasongola water supply and sanitation is Shs66billion, but the financing constraints forced the government to have the project implemented in phases.
“We are implementing the first of the project for the Shs26.9bn that is now at 85%. The contractor has assured us that by December 2022, the water supply will be ready for commissioning. We already have the major infrastructure in place, including the reservoir tank at Sungira hill to supply Nakasongola town and the other areas, including the UPDF barracks,” he said.
The piped water transported through gravity-fed water distribution from Lake Kyoga is expected to pump 7,881,000 litres per day.
Nakasongola District LC5 Chairperson- Sam Kigula, believes that the piped water system, once commissioned, will add value to the different projects in Nakasongola that have slowed because of the water scarcity problem. We experience acute water shortage for both the farmers and industrialists. We need the piped water scheme to cover at least 80% of Nakasongola District, he said.
The Ministry of Water and Environment, through Strategic Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project (STWSSP), is implementing the construction of Nakasongola Water Supply System Phase 1 with funding from the African Development Bank secured by the Government of Uganda.
It was contracted to M/s Ahnui Sijian Holding Group Company Limited. The Consultant supervising the Project is M/s Sering Ingegneria S.R.L in Joint Venture with Via International LLC Engineering Consultancy.
The construction of the system commenced on March 15, 2021, and the adjusted completion date is December 14, 2022, from the original date, which was June 14, 2022. The water system is at 85% completion.
The population to be served by the water system in Nakasongola District is; Initial (2020) 104,256 persons, and the Design/ Projected (2040) is 187,925 persons.