By Vivian Agaba, Jane Wasagali and Edward Kayiwa
NATIONAL Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has partnered with Uganda police to control and prevent illegal water use crime, and reduce the amount of money being lost annually due to the crime.
Dr. Silver Mugisha, the managing director, NWSC said on monthly basis, the corporation loses one billion shillings in non-revenue water and this is because of illegal water use.
“We are tired of people involved in all kinds of illegal water usage especially those that steal water from our systems for different activities. Every month, the company loses 1billion in non-revenue water, a lot money that if saved, would enable us extend our services to all parts of the country,” said Mugisha.
Adding that, despite the corporation’s several mechanisms in place to curb the vice, it is still a challenge and police has been brought on board to investigate and prosecute whoever shall be caught dealing in illegal water use.
Mugisha was speaking during the launching of the Water Loss Prevention Unit (WALOPU) that was held at International Resource Centre (IREC) in Bugolobi on Thursday.
The launch that began with a matching procession from Central Police Station (CPS) was organized by NWSC under the theme ‘Say No to Illegal Water Use’.
Richard Muhangi, senior manager commercial, marketing and customer service said the partnership with the police to enforce the mechanisms in curbing illegal water use is the first of its kind and asked police to apply their highly investigations skills to crack down, investigate and prosecute illegal water users.
George Okol, chairman of the board, NWSC said the police will be partnering with NWSC for one year, however, six months into the project, police’s role shall be evaluated and if there are positive results, the partnership will continue.
Godffrey Bangirana, Assistant Inspector General of police who represented IGP boss Kale Kaihura vowed that police will do its best to support NWSC to end illegal water use in communities.
“Preventing illegal water use in communities is our first priority and we shall work together with NWSC and other stakeholders to curb this problem. However for people that shall not listen, arresting them shall be our last resort,” said Bangirana.
He said that the partnership between police and NWSC will ensure that there is no unnecessary losses, protect water assets, and with team work, the unit shall be successful.
The unit shall operate within five zones in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts irrespectively and thereafter, can be extended to other parts of the country.