African Union launches s 

Sunday, December 01, 2013 

Uganda for 100% cover

Kampala, Uganda – National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) last week launched a Five Year Strategic Direction work plan that will facilitate and increase water and sewerage service delivery to major urban centers by 100 percent.

Silver Mugisha, the Managing Director of NWSC explained that the Five Year Strategic Direction has targets which the Corporation aims to achieve.
Supreme of these targets is to ensure rapid expansion of water coverage to reach 100 percent by 2016 and the expansion of sewerage services in all areas of NWSC operation.
At the moment the public utility water supplier is present in about 30 urban centers but under the new work plan, they are targeting to reach 80 towns and also add new customers on the network to move from the current 317,000 to 450,000 connections.

The Five Year Strategic Direction implementation which will guide NWSC to carry out its mandate of taking safe water to Ugandans in an efficient manner has already begun with capacity development of staff member under the STEPUP-90 programme.
While officiating at the launch of the Direction, the Minister for Water and Environment, Ephraim Kamuntu said that government attaches great importance to water and sanitation sub sector as it has become intrinsically linked to sustainable development of the country.
Kamuntu said water is a driving force that underpins most social and economic activities like sustainable health, agriculture, energy, tourism and industrialization within the country.
“The centrality of water’s importance to the economy is demonstrated by the estimated 21 percent contribution to the GDP of the economy. The cliché water is life underscores this point,” Kamuntu stated.
Commenting on the Fiver Year Strategic Direction, the Minister explained that it is imperative for any organisations to have a long term outlook if it is to succeed in its aspirations.

“We in the ministry are pleased with the board and management’s initiative in formulating the Five Year Strategic Direction, which takes into account the aspirations of government, key among which is the need to attain 100 percent water service coverage in all urban centers of Uganda,” Kamuntu said.
Kamuntu was pleased with the Direction’s plan to takeover more urban centers and the incorporation of integrated management of water resources and promotion of rain water harvest.
“We in the ministry pledge our total support to the initiatives laid out in the Strategic Direction and look forward to its successful implementation” he said.
Mugisha also mentioned that they are targeting modernizing and diversifying customer care with a new high capacity call center being erected and to achieve financial sustainability.
Infrastructure improvement, increasing geographical reach from 28 urban centers to 80 towns, protecting the environment and being innovative are some of the targets spelled out in the document.

The corporation is also looking at reducing water loses from current level of 37 percent in Kampala to less than 30 percent from  an aggregate level of 18 percent  in other areas than 15 percent and enhance cost optimization of operations.
To reduce the debt age from three months to less than two month and reduce creditors days from current 90 days to 45 days and increase customer base from 317,000 to 450,000 connections.
Also on target is increasing annual turnover from Ush168bn to at least Ush295bn and ensure that 50 percent of towns breakeven.

The purpose of this plan therefore is to provide the Corporation’s future outlook and key strategic interventions for the next five years.
The new Ag NWSC board chairman Eng. Christopher Ebal reiterated that the board has fully consented to the aspirations of the five year strategic direction to excel.

By Baz Waiswa, Sunday, December 01st, 2013