By our Reporters
National Water and Sewerage Corporation has taken drastic measures -cutting off supply of clean water to major government hospitals to recovered unpaid water bills to a tune of over Ug.Shs.70bn .
Among the affected hospitals include Naguru referral hospital which has an accumulated water bill amounting to Ug.shs.1.3 bn.
The hospital administrator. Ms. Sheila Okodi told the media that the hospital cannot clear its water bills because it receives very little money from the Ministry of Health. Every quarter the hospital receives Ug.Shs.20 million and yet it consumes water estimated at Ug.Shs.50M.
At Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital that serves an estimated 3.7 million people from a region of six districts has also been affected because it owns NWSC Ug.Shs.488M in unpaid water bills .
Last month , NWSC boss Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha didn’t mince words while talking to the media and vowed that they will continue to disconnect non-paying customers because non payment of water bills by some customer especially government MDAs was affecting the ability of the corporation to deliver on its mandate and national obligations.
Dr. Mugisha said that non-payment of water bills by a number of customers including the Uganda Police Force, Uganda Prisons, the Ministry of Defence, and other government MDAs threatened service continuity.
“Management has taken a painful decision to implement a strict disconnection strategy for all outstanding arrears of more than one month, with immediate effect,” Dr. Mugisha said at the time.
He said all government institutions that have accumulated domestic arrears over and above the discount invoicing threshold approved by the Ministry of Finance will be disconnected, with immediate effect, after failed attempts to heed the PSST’s directive to consider water bills as the first call on quarterly releases, consistently.
Dr. Mugisha said the Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Uganda Police Service and Uganda Prisons Service had accumulated arrears of Ug.Shs.19b over and above the Ug.Shs.43b arrears that the Ministry of Finance had accepted to budget for and clear. The 19b arrears accrued between July 2022 and March 2023.
Mugisha added ;”We pay for power, chemicals, repair materials among other production inputs for every cubic meter of water supplied to customers. The providers of the production inputs need money to continue supplying us. We therefore, urge customers to pay their water bills from as low as 5000UGX and above.” id
The none payment of water bills now in billions ,sources told ugandauodatenews.com ,has affected the corporation’s projects to extend clean water in Soroti, Kanungu, Kalungu, Lyantonde, Moroto, Kyankwanzi, Kihihi, Tororo, among others. The corporation is using internally generated resources to deliver on these projects . Delayed bill payment will affect these projects among others in the pipeline.
Today Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja convened an emergency meeting to find a solution to the water crisis .
The meeting was attended by management of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Health and other affected agencies .
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