Water, environment agencies ask for extra funds in next budget

KAMPALA, March 28, 2024 – Agencies under the Ministry of Water and Environment have called for more funding in the national budget for the financial year 2024/ 2025 to enable them achieve key planned outputs.

According to the Minister of Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris, low funding to the ministry has failed to match the growing water demands and water use patterns, especially with high population growth that has surpassed the rate of infrastructure development.

Uganda’s population is estimated at over 48.7 million people even though government is set to conduct the National Population and Housing Census 2024 from May 9-19, 2024.

The minister said government counterpart funding has not been forthcoming, adding that this has affected project implementation and in some cases, caused delays in implementation.

He said this while leading a team of agency officials under the ministry, to respond to queries raised by legislators on parliament’s  Environment and Natural Resources Committee, in regard to the Ministerial Policy Statement for financial year 2024/2025.

The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alfred Okot, attributed delays in project implementation for water supply and sanitation installations, to land acquisition challenges.

“The global price escalation of key construction materials and demand by contractors for price adjustments has also increased cost estimates of projects. Vandalism of water infrastructure has also affected the functionality of systems,” Okot said.

Meanwhile, Eng. Johnson Amayo, the Deputy Managing Director  Technical Services at National Water and Sewerage Corporation [NWSC], asked the Committee to adjust the Corporation’s budget ceiling upward to Shs 142.97 billion to clear outstanding financial obligations for the Service Coverage Acceleration Programme [SCAP 100 Programme], the Kampala Sanitation Programme and the Integrated Water Management and Development Project in Gulu.

On his part, Francis Ogwal, the Senior Manager for Environment Planning and Coordination at National Environment Management Authority [NEMA], presented funding requirements for the wage bill of its new approved structure [Shs 5.93bln], and establishment and equipping of NEMA regional offices [Shs 24bln].

The Committee Chairperson, Emmanuel Otaala, said they will engage the Ministry of Finance to provide adequate resources to the ministry and its agencies.

He raised concerns about the exorbitant cost of solar powered water supply systems. “We thought that supplying water for irrigation to 12 acres at a cost of Shs 800mln is on the higher side. The public out there said they can buy a system at Shs 150,000. We want you [Ministry] to work on mechanisms that can cut such costs,” Otaala noted.

Cheptoris said the Ministry will investigate the charge to see whether it is appropriate.

Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country-wide vending points or an e-copy on

Views: 0

Related Articles

Back to top button