Uganda hosts first international summit on intermittent water supply

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Water and environmental specialists from various parts of the world are in the country to attend the Intermittent Water Supply (IWS) conference.

The two-day conference which is taking place at the International Resource Centre in Bugolobi, Kampala, is aimed at sharing experiences on IWS.

Speaking at the conference, the International Water Association (IWA) president Diane d’Arras said a lot needs to be done to improve water supply continuously to the people.

“Intermittent water supply is still a big problem. A lot needs to be done to ensure people get water 24 hours. We need to find solutions to the challenges to ensure that all people can access clean safe water without interruption,” she noted.

State minister for water and environment Dr Mary Gorretti Kitutu with the NWSC board chairperson Christopher Ebal during the conference. Photo by Sylvia Katushabe

D’Arras stressed that all professionals from different countries need to come out and share what they are doing in their different countries to address the challenge, which she says is more common in developing countries.

“We need to understand the problem and how to live with it. That is why we must increase awareness among the clients, and address the issues of governance among others,” she notes.

While launching the conference, the state minister for environment, Dr Mary Goretti Kitutu, raised concern over the rising temperatures in the country and other parts of the world.

She said there is a need to protect the wetlands and forests to deal with the problem of climate change.



Bambos Charalambous speaking during the conference. Photo by Sylvia Katushabe

“If we do not protect the water sources; we are likely to face more problems. In Uganda, temperatures are soaring every day; which we have never experienced before. We have asked our scientists to observe and find the real cause,” she noted.

Eng. Christopher Ebal, the chairman board of directors, National Water and Sewerage Cooperation (NWSC), said Uganda is implementing a head-on strategy to ensure 100% water coverage.

“We have covered most of the urban centres and now going into peri-urban areas. But intermittent water supply remains a problem. It is a big challenge to the water sector. We need practical solutions to address this problem,” he noted.

The chairman of IWA intermittent water supply group, Bambos Charalambous said 1.3bn people who have piped have intermittent issues.

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