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Uganda secures Sh1.2 trillion for water and sanitation projects

Minister Kasaija (3rd left), French ambassador Rivoal (2nd left), NWSC MD Dr Mugisha and other officials after the signing today. COURTESY PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda has secured a 270 million Euros ( Sh1.2 trillion) loan from the French government to finance two water and sanitation projects in Greater Kampala and parts of south-western Uganda.

The financing channeled through the French Development Agency (AFD), is to support access to water and sanitation programs in Greater Kampala, Masaka, Mbarara and Isingiro districts. The two projects will be implemented by National Water and Sewerage Corporation.

The first concessional loan of 150 million Euros will be dedicated to increase the volume of clean water as well as the network needed to meet the demand of the growing population of the Greater Kampala.

The second loan of 120 million Euros will focus on upgrading the water and sanitation infrastructures of Masaka and Mbarara towns but also prepare for a new source of water in the trans boundary river of Kagera enabling to plan to supply rural districts like Isingiro district.

The two financing agreements were signed this morning by the Ugandan government, represented by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and the French government, represented by the French Ambassador Virginie Rivoal.

In his speech, Kasaija said access to drinking water and sanitation is not only essential for life, health and prosperity but is also a human right, adding that the money should be used to address the sanitation and water owes of Kampala.

The concessional 270 million Euro’s will run for 20 years attracting interest fee of 1.25 percent annually, hence an addition to the already worsening public debt which is 41 percent of GDP.

Kasaija says that provision of adequate water for health, agricultural and industrial development will remain a key resource as Uganda looks forward to achieving Vision 2040. Kasaija said he hopes the project will result into cheaper and accessible services especially for the poor.

The French Ambassador Virginie Rivoal said the loan is to improve water supply to areas she described as ‘a dear region of Uganda’.

Ambassador Rivoal said if National Water and Sewerage Corporation implements the project fast enough they will be entitled to more loans. She added that the 270 million Euros is significant enough to make an impact.

The managing director of National Water and Sewerage Corporation Silver Mugisha said the projects will address the water deficit in Greater Kampala. According to Mugisha, the water supply in Greater Kampala is 240 million litres per day against a daily demand of 300 million litres of water, creating a deficit of 60 million litres.

The two projects are expected to be completed by 2023/24. NWSC also received an earlier loan to boost water access in Greater Kampala and Jinja.

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