Tuesday July 1 2014

Funding gap failing water access



Despite efforts by the stakeholders, the budget allocations for accessing water in the country have remained insufficient; a situation activists say has failed the government policy. Civil society organisations advocating for increased safe water and sanitation said the current budget allocation of Shs452.825 billion for water leaves a gap of Shs132.9 billion in the financial year 2014/15. The budget allocation for water was increased from Shs383.9 billion in 2013/14.
Mr Owino Ogolla, the Chairperson of the Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET) observed that the current budget allocates only 3% and does not cater for sanitation which is crucial in combating diseases related to water.
The budget funding gap fails the government policy of accessing water in every parish with at least one permanent source throughout the country.
“If construction of a borehole costs between Shs20 million and Shs26 million and they are giving each parish a borehole, then the amount allocated in the budget with the number of parishes is insufficient, if you calculate,” Mr Ogolla observed.
He made the remarks during a special session hosted by the Uganda Water and sanitation NGO Network at the ongoing Civil Society Organisations’ Fair in Kampala that is aimed at mobilizing stakeholders to work towards sustainable management of freshwater resources in the East African Community.
According to the government policy statement, water and sanitation coverage stands at 65 per cent and 70 per cent respectively but struggling to achieve 100 per cent water coverage for all Ugandans by the year 2015.