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Gov’t fails to hit access to water target

Alfred Okot Okidi, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Uganda has failed to attain the access to clean water target in rural areas as planned in the Water and Environment development sector plan 2015/2016 to 2019/2020.  

Alfred Okot Okidi, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment says the plan targeted 79% clean water access from boreholes in rural areas, but only 68.7 % was attained in the last five years. The percentage has however increased from 39% in 2014.

This is attributed to inadequate functional boreholes in rural areas. Out of the 60,000 boreholes constructed across the country, 12,000 are not functional and the government is capable of repairing only 40% of those boreholes that breakdown. 

Okidi says to match the borehole break down with the rate of repairs made, the Ministry needs 100 Billion Shillings per year. 

The status is not different from Twaweza Uganda citizen’s views and experiences of hand washing amid coronavirus survey carried out among 1,607 respondents across Uganda.

Marie Nanyanzi, a Program Officer at Twaweza says according to the research survey findings, access to clean water in both rural and urban areas is affected by the cost of water, few water points and a long distance to the water points. 

According to Twaweza sauti za Wananchi’s survey report for April and August 2020, 4 out of 10 households pointed to an insufficient number of water points in 2019 and 2020 (36%), while 3 out of 10 (28%) in 2020 compared to 27% in 2019 disclosed moving long distances to access water points. 

In both rural and urban areas, the cost of water was cited at 25%, while the shortage of water points stood at 28%. Some 25% disclosed accessing dirty water in 2019 and 22% in 2020. 16% of 1,607 said the water points are none functional.   

Margret Baba Diri, the Woman Member of Parliamentarian for Koboko says that town councils have been neglected despite good government plans. She says the water is in the town council of Koboko but social amenities like schools, hospitals and churches cannot access it. Even the available boreholes are none functional. 

She says there is a need for support to distribute water from the town councils to the village communities where boreholes are none functional. 

Uganda strives to achieve strategic development goal 6.1 and 6.2 under its national development plan III and vision 2040.



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