By Jeff Lule, Mark Owor
and Vivien Nalukooli
THE increasing water pollution around Lake Victoria has affected the cost of production and hence the rise in water prices.
The National Water and Sewerage Cooperation (NWSC) deputy director and chief engineer, Alex Gisagara, said the pollution had also led to water scarcity.
â€œIn the past years, we used to simply filter the water because all the catchment areas were clean. We did not need a lot of chemicals to treat it.
But today the quality of water from the lake is very bad and it takes a long process to purify it,â€ Gisagara said.
He observed that unless the government came out to fight water pollution, the problem was likely to increase.
NWSC notes that 10-15 years back, the cost of treating 1,000 litres used to be sh100 and below, while today it is about sh250 and above.
Gisagara added that the high cost of power and production equipment was another challenge.
He made the remarks recently at the launch of the first regional meeting for the East African Young Water Professionals at the NWSC Training Centre in Bugolobi, Kampala.
Young water professionals is an initiative operating under the auspices of the International Water Association and the African Water Association, with the aim of addressing the problems of the water sector in the region.
The water and environment state minister, Jessica Eriyo, said the government was planning to ensure that there is 100% water coverage countrywide.
She called upon the young water professionals to help come up with unified approaches on how to protect the Nile Basin from pollution and mismanagement.
The young water professionals chairperson, Betty Abila, said regional water problems could not be solved by individual countries but through joint efforts.
The group planted 2,000 trees in the Lake Victoria catchments at Entebbe to address the global climatic changes.