Kampala- National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has said it is stepping up operations against illegal water connections having recovered more than Shs3.8b from fines resulting from illegal connections and defaulters, among others.
Speaking in Kampala yesterday, Mr Silver Mugisha, the NWSC managing director, said they had been losing a lot of money due to illegal connections, especially in affluent areas, which have for a number of years had the biggest water theft culprits.
“We have found diplomats renting houses with illegal water connections and through them we have been led to the property owners. These are rich people who you cannot imagine are stealing water,” he said yesterday.
Last year, NWSC together with police commissioned the Water Loss Prevention Unit which looks out for people who knowingly or unknowingly illegally connect themselves to the water network.
The operation has covered a number of areas including upcountry locations in Mbale and much of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts.
NSCW, according to data, loses at least Shs4b in illegal connections, water leakage and vandalism, among others.
According to Mr Mugisha, hostels, shopping arcades and plush residential houses constitute the bulk of the 1,170 illegal connections that have been exposed so far in only this year.
Mr Mugisha said they have acquired the right technology that will easily detect the illegal connections.
The corporation is seeking to bring illegal connections to zero by 2016.
The campaign is being extended to other areas including Mbarara, Jinja, Mbale and Entebbe but will in future cover the whole country.
“We shall bring these connections to zero but also, it is not our delight to keep exposing those who are illegally consuming our water,” Mr Mugisha said.
NSWC also said it will; together with police, continue to fight illegal connections in all ways, which will, include naming and shaming those who illegally use the corporation’s water.
National Water and Sewerage Corporation has been credited by a number of institutions as one of the most effective government agencies in Uganda.
Uganda has only less than 7 per cent of the population connected to piped water with more than 34 per cent of the country’s population having no access to an improved water source, according to United Nations.
However, government, through a number of partners has stepped up efforts as it seeks to drive safe water access to more than 80 per cent by 2017.