Water ministry worst performer- govt report

Saturday September 14 2019

Unsafe.  A girl  draws water from a valley dam

Unsafe. A girl draws water from a valley dam which is also accessed by cattle at Wabbale Village in Nakasongola District last year. PHOTO BY DAN WANDERA  

By Arthur Arnold Wadero

The Ministry of Water and Environment has emerged the worst performer, according to the 2018/2019 government annual report.
The Government Annual Performance Report (GAPR) 2018/2019 provides a comprehensive assessment of government‘s performance and the results of public spending for the financial year.
The report focuses on the performance of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) against output targets across all sectors of government and progress made in the implementation of key actions agreed during the last government performance retreats.

The report released at the Office of the President in Kampala, on Tuesday indicated that the Water ministry scored only 27 per cent down from 79 per cent in 2017/2018 recording 52 percentage point decline.
It also revealed that access to safe water has stagnated over the years because government has failed to increase funding to the ministry.
The minister for Water and Environment, Mr Sam Cheptoris, said for the last 15 years, funding to districts to provide clean water has remained the same.
“I want to agree that there is a stagnation in overall safe water access. This was largely due to conditional grants given to the districts that has remained the same for the last 15 years. Districts have been getting Shs15 billion despite increase in population and numbers of these districts,” Mr Cheptoris said.
The report also faulted the ministry for failing to stop forest depletion, enormous encroachment on wetlands, and high rate of water pollution.
“It is also true that wetlands and forest cover have declined because people clear forests for agriculture expansion, firewood, and charcoal,” Mr Cheptoris defended.

Prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda said there is need for urgent intervention as the country risks suffering adverse effects of weather.
“There is need for us to pay attention to the acute depletion of our forest cover and wetland degradation as this may increase the negative effects of climate change and erase any progress we are currently enjoying,” Dr Rugunda said.
He added: “The life expectancy of the people of Uganda has improved over the last 10 years. The current life expectancy is 63 years up from 55 years in 2011.”
The report says female life expectancy is high at 64.8 years compared to male at 60.2 years.
How other ministries performed
Health. The Ministry of Health saw Uganda’s maternal mortality rate decline from 438 deaths per 100,000 live births to 336 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2011 and 2016. However, at 336 deaths per 100,000 live births, Uganda’s maternal mortality rate is still among the highest on the continent.
Justice. The justice, law and order sector’s performance dropped from 88 per cent to 75 per cent while the Social Development sector declined from 20 per cent to 18 per cent in the 2018/2019.
The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development improved its performance from 33 per cent to 68 per cent. The Ministry of Agriculture registered a 19 per cent increase from 55 per cent in the 2017/2018 financial year. The Health ministry scored 61 per cent in the financial year 2018/2019 from 44 per cent in the previous year.
Tourism. Statistics in the tourism, trade and industry sector indicated that Uganda’s rank in ease of doing business dropped by five slots, from 122 in 2017 to 127 out of 190. The number of tourists visiting Uganda grew from 1.45 million in 2017/2018 to 1.60 million in 2018/2019, which is attributed to improved promotion efforts. The second National Development Plan (NDPII) target is to attract 1.92 million visitors.
ICT. Information Communication and Technology Ministry only had 10 applications made in the previous financial year and registered a 11 per cent decrease in internet penetration plus a 12.7 per cent increase in mobile subscriptions which fell below the targeted 15.4 per cent of the NDPII.
Outcome assessment for the education sector was not done because Ministry of Education and Sports lacked funds to carry out the schools’ census.
The Ministry of Labour Gender and Social Development intercepted 375 potential victims of trafficking at the Entebbe International Airport.
Transport. Data from the Ministry of Works and Transport showed that persons killed by accidents increased from 3,500 in 2017/2018 to 3,689 in 2018/2019. Pedestrians comprise 39 per cent, the largest group of road user category were killed in 2018/2019. Reckless driving, speeding, careless pedestrians, overloading and driving under alcohol influence are major causes of road accidents.