Kampala warned that safe water may be running out due to Lake Victoria pollution
Saturday, May 25, 2002
The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda). By Julius Mucunguzi
The head of the European Union Commission in Uganda has warned that Kampala may soon be without safe water if nothing is done to protect Lake Victoria from pollution.
Ambassador Sigurd Illing while commissioning Ggaba One Water Project yesterday said that he had seen a report that says that the pollution of Murchison Bay where all water supplied to Kampala households is got was at a great risk of degenerating to dangerous proportions.
"A recent report even indicates that without drastic measures, the pollution of Murchison Bay may reach in six years from now to such a level that the water of the lake will not be suitable anymore as raw water for the treatment plant," he said.
"I would like to appeal to government and KCC to take this matter seriously and to start implementing measures to reduce this pollution,' he added.
The Ggaba One project, a Shs 3.5bn EU funded undertaking, now makes it possible to raise the capacity of the water pumped from 40,000 cubic metre per day to 72000 cubic metre. It is the first stage of refurbishing Ggaba Water Works. Ggaba One project was first constructed in 1930,and was the only water works in Kampala city until 1992 when Ggaba Two was completed. But due to technical and mechanical problems, its production fell from the original 72000 cubic metres per day to well below 40000 cubic metres per day.
The refurbishment, which was commissioned yesterday, was meant to address the shortcomings.
The additional capacity is equivalent to four 24 litre-jerrycans per person per day for 350000 people in Kampala.
Illing said that the EU was committing an additional Shs4.2bn to ensure that the water is treated to meet standard of health.
Ambassador Illing thanked the National Water and Sewerage Corporation managing director Dr William Muhairwe for steering the corporation well, and said it was against this background that the EU was committing more money to the water sector.
Dr Muhairwe told The Monitor that the cause of the pollution is due to the clearing of Nakivubo Channel and the swamp at the mouth of the channel.
He said there is need to ensure that the swamp is not cleared, and said that they would appeal to the relevant authorities for action.
Engineer Hillary Onek was the guest of honour.