Government pays Shs25b national water debt

Kampala- National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has intensified installation of pre-paid water meters in government offices after government paid Shs25b of the Shs40b water debt.

Mr Samuel Apedel, the NWSC public relations manager, said the pre-paid meters are expected to ensure up front revenue collection, manage government consumption of water and eliminate arrears that have been accruing because of under budgeting and diversion of money
In an interview yesterday, Mr Apedel said the money would be used to extend water services to 40 new towns covering an estimate of 430km of piped water as part of the corporation’s rapid expansion drive to increase its geographical and service coverage.

“The Ministry of Finance released Shs25b and we got strong commitment both from the ministry and the President because top management met him and explained to him the urgency of extending the water and connecting new towns,” he said.

In November last year, the corporation launched a five-year strategic plan to expand and intensify its service coverage which currently stands at 77 per cent.

During the launch, the corporation also started quarterly performance appraisal of its top managers to ensure that they deliver services to achieve the strategic plan.

According to Mr Apedel, the initiative resulted in 79Km of new piped water connections in Kampala alone and 259kms in other towns while the monthly revenue collections also shot up between January and June this year.

“We connected 340km of water between January and June this year, and we expect to connect another 430km between June and December this year. We have also realised improved revenue collections,” he said.

Early this year, government departments such as Luzira prison and Mulago hospital were disconnected over astronomical bills in the range of billions of shillings.

Government responded to the embarrassment by tasking all the accounting officers to install pre-paid utility meters in the government institutions so as to check the expenditure on the utility costs.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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