By Billy Rwothungeyo and Claire Nakaayi
The Government has signed a new deal with Denmark and other development partners to implement a joint water and environment programme.The 117m euro five-year programme, set to commence next year, was signed at the finance ministry offices in Kampala recently.
“The support is in line with our development plan that seeks to reduce poverty in Uganda and will go a long way in improving access to safe water in the country. The inclusion in the joint financing agreement of a special component will address water coverage issues in rural communities,” said Keith Muhakanizi, the secretary to the Treasury, who signed the deal on behalf of the Government.
Muhakanizi urged the recipient, the water ministry, to avoid returning the funds to the Treasury at the end of the financial year.
“You must absorb this money on time, otherwise, I will cancel the project,” he warned.
Muhakanizi also cautioned that the money should be used for its intended purpose.
“We expect transparency, value for money and accountability for these funds. Certainly, we cannot go back to where we were last year,” he said, alluding to the fraud scam that rocked the Office of the Prime Minister.
Danish envoy Dan E. Fredericksen, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Danish government, called upon the Ugandan government to increase sector funding to ensure steady safe water coverage throughout the country.
He also urged on the prompt release of monies.
“Emphasis is laid on the importance of timely releases of funds to ensure that the spending agencies are able to utilise the funds effectively and efficiently,” he said.
The new deal will replace the joint water and sanitation sector support programme that will expire in December.
Other development partners on the programme are the African Development Bank, Austria, FAO and Germany.