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Health centres need special pricing for water

Water Aid staff, MPs and Nabweru Health Centre III during the handover ceremony of the 14-stance toilet facility.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Health centres need special prices for water to improve on sanitation services in the facilities, according to Silas Aogon, MP, Kumi Municipality and a member of the Parliamentary Forum on Water and Sanitation.

Aogon, who was speaking during the handover ceremony of a 14-stance water-borne flush toilet to Nabweru Health Centre III in Nansana Municipality in Wakiso district constructed by Water Aid, a non-governmental organization, on March.18, said they will engage parliament to ensure that relevant laws and policies are put in place to ensure that health centres are accorded special treatment in payment for water bills.

“It is unfair that health facilities pays the same price for water like any other water users,” he said. “We are going to engage our fellow members of parliament and ensure that proper laws and policies are put in place so that health centres pays lower cost of water bills.”

Aogon’s view was based on the fact that the cost of water bills at Nabweru Health Centre III has been increasing over the past years yet is a basic necessity with pregnant women and the general cleanliness of the health facility.

Currently, National Water and Sewerage Corporation charges all consumers Shs 3,516 per cubic metres of water plus service fee of Shs 1,500 per month and 18% Value Added Tax (VAT).

Water Aid has constructed 12 modern water-borne flush toilets for six health centres and six public primary schools in Kampala and Wakiso Districts.

Ceaser Kimbugwe, the Sustainable WASH Manager for WaterAid Uganda, said the aim of the initiative is to boost water and sanitation in the two districts owed to their low supply.

He said the US$ 2million, 5-year project, which started in 2018, also provides technical skills in relation to management of water services.

Improve cleanliness

Jova Kamateeka, Member of Parliament representing Mitooma District said it is time that leaders in Nansana Municipality and others step up efforts to clean their localities.

“It is time that the leaders in these areas including Nansana Municipality appreciate the role that the government has played in putting in place good infrastructure,” she said, “The garbage that is all over the place, blocking the water channels. This needs to change.”

In response, Nansana Municipality Mayor, Regina Nakazzi Bakitte, said municipalities are willing to invest in numerous sanitation programmes including construction of public toilets but the resource envelop is too small.

“The money we collect as taxes is too small to enable us provide all these services,” she said.

Nevertheless, Bakitte revealed that they have come up with village groups within the municipality that plans to come up various projects including extraction of fecal towards production of fecal sludge.

Nabweru H/C in charge Hussein Mwanja lauded WaterAid for the contribution adding that the facilities will go a long way in helping mothers that visit the facility.

He said with the COVID-19 pandemic now, the need for handwashing facilities in health centers cannot be underscored enough.

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