National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) Managing Director Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha has announced a new campaign that will see all illegal water users hunted down and prosecuted.
Addressing reporters on Wednesday, Dr. Mugisha said about 10% of NWSC customers are on illegal water supply; a vice he said continues to be a thorn in the corporation’s foot by putting the country’s water utility in a difficult resource allocation inefficiency situation.
“One of the significant causes of non-revenue water is illegal water use by some customers. We have estimated that about 10% of our customers are on illegal water supply,” he said, announcing a one-month amnesty to water-theft culprits.
The month-long amnesty will allow illegal water users to come forward and be legally reconnected by NWSC.
“We are giving customers on illegal water supply one month to come and we regularise their connections. Any customer who responds to amnesty on his/her own will be regularised, without sanctions,” he said noting that illegal water supply attracts serious sanctions, in accordance with the Water Act, including imprisonment if convicted.
Dr. Mugisha said after the one-month amnesty period has elapsed, illegal customers will be prosecuted according to the law.
Nonpayment of bills
The NWSC MD also noted that a number of their customers do not respond to payment of bills promptly, despite several SMS reminders; a trend he said is adversely, hampering the utility’s capacity to provide effective and efficient services.
“We are reminding all our esteemed customers that any outstanding bill not cleared to zero balance, places a customer in the category of water supply disconnection for non-payment. We don’t aim to disconnect our customers but the need to keep business continuity is placing us in that operational practice.”
New water project
He revealed that NWSC has initiated a new project dubbed water for all programme, in line with its strategic corporate Plan which seeks to achieve 100% piped water coverage in about 22,000 villages under NWSC.
“The corporation is coming up with water for all programme, in line with its Corporate Plan. The WFA programme has the overall objective of achieving 100% piped water coverage in about 22,000 villages under NWSC. We request customers to be consistent with payment of their water bills to enable us resource WFA programme, sustainably,” Dr. Mugisha said.
Clarifies on social media allegations
Eng. Mugisha said he is still at the helm of NWSC dismissing reports that his contract has run out.
He described the allegations making rounds on digital media as malicious saying “We are here as you can see. We are working to serve more Ugandans”
“They said I’m not in the office but you have seen me here and what I know is that I have a new contract in line with the laws of Uganda,” Dr. Mugisha said, adding that: “I don’t know the motive of those behind the allegations”.
Dr. Mugisha was this year re-appointed to the position on a five-year spell. This means, his contract remains valid until March 2028, according to NWSC board chairperson, Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu.
Under Dr. Mugisha’s leadership, Eng. Kiggundu said the number of towns under NWSC jurisdiction have increased from 23 to 268 and are expected to increase to 350 by 2028.
The number of people served by piped water in areas under NWSC have increased from 4.5 million to 18 million and are projected to increase to 28 million by 2028.
He said the number of customer connections have increased from 296.000 to 874,000 and are expected to increase to 1,250.000 by 2028.
“Pipe network length has increased from 5,073 Kms to 22.000 Kms and is planned to increase to 32,000Kms by 2028; annual turnover has increased from UGX 155 Billion to UGX 519 Billion and is projected to increase to UGX 700 Billion by 2028,” Dr. Kiggundu said.
With Dr. Mugisha at the helm of the NWSC, assets under management have increased from UGX 650 billion to UGX 4,100 Billion and are planned to increase to UGX 6,600 Billion by 2028.
Eng. Kiggundu said that Dr. Mugisha and his team’s performance had satisfied the board.