NWSC injects Shs1.5b into pre-paid meter installation

Gilbert Muhwezi (3rd L), the principal engineer of the pre-paid water meter project, explains to officials how the meters work at the NWSC training centre on Wednesday. photo BY STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

Reason. Development meant to help the corporation contain recurrent arrears.

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has announced that it is enforcing the government directive to have pre-paid meters installed in all ministries by July.

In a meeting attended by accounting and procurement officers of various government departments at the NWSC training centre in Bugolobi on Wednesday, Mr George Okol, the manager commercial and customer care services, said the corporation has imported pre-paid meters worth $0.6m (about Shs1.5 billion) which are ready to be installed in the ministries. This, he said, will minimise recurrent arrears, help with budgeting as well planning the consumption of water.

“This initiative comes with a lot of benefits. It means you are going to take full control of the water you consume and each one has to play their part because many people have been sceptical about the bills we have been sending out,” he told the officials.

He added that the corporation is installing the pre-meters irrespective of whether the ministries have cleared all the arrears amounting to close to Shs.40bn because NWSC has an administrative arrangement with the Ministry of Finance where those who are unable to pay up the arrears will have to include in their budgets the arrears so that they can be paid in the next financial year.

He added that the Corporation is officially launching the installation programme of the pre-paid meters next week at the Ministry of Health headquarters where Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the secretary to the Treasury, will be officiating at a demonstration to show the seriousness of the programme.

Early this year, there was a national outcry when Mulago National Referral Hospital and Luzira Prison, were disconnected from water supply over arrears amounting to more than Shs10 billion.

According to Mr. Okol, the installation of the new meters is anticipated to help the recovery of the money to increase water supply within the city which still remains a challenge because of expansion of the city and other new towns where the services are currently unavailable.