Uganda’s economy cannot support the distribution of safe or/and clean water all over the country, the minister of Water and Environment has revealed.
Currently, over eight million Ugandans do not have access to safe and clean water.
According to a recent report released by Water Aid, an international Non-Governmental Organisation, over 45,000 children under the age of five die of diseases related to lack of access to clean water and sanitation every year.
But during the launch of Vision 2040, President Museveni promised Ugandans that come 2024, every Ugandan will be able to access safe water.
However, according to Sam Cheptoris, this might be very impossible due to the nature of Uganda’s economy.
While addressing the press about the upcoming Uganda Water and Environment Week 2019, Cheptoris said although water is a human right needed by everybody, the current economic status cannot allow everyone to access safe water.
“Many Ugandans, especially in rural areas, still have to walk long distances to access water, share water sources with animals or generally do not have safe water,” he said on Wednesday at the ministry’s headquarters in Luzira.
According to the current report from Water.org, only 24 million Ugandans have access to safe water while 29 million Ugandans lack access to improved water and sanitation.
Cheptoris added that statistics from the Ministry of Water and Environment, show that currently 75 per cent of urban dwellers have access to safe water while in rural areas it only 70 per cent.
According to Sam Apedel, the spokesperson of National Water and Sewerage Cooperation, currently over 15,500 villages have piped water. However the percentage of safeness is compromised due to different methods used to prevent water contamination to remove bacteria with which come with water from lakes and other sources but they cannot guarantee the water quality in people’s houses.
Last year, during Water Day celebrations, minister for Environment Dr Mary Goretti Kitutu said Uganda’s water resources are decreasing. She attributed this to many different forms of environmental degradation.
However, Cheptoris assured Ugandans that through the Water Week, many such challenges will be discussed by both stakeholders and President Museveni.