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Kampala to get sh480m sanitation project

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th July 2008 03:00 AM

THE Ministry of Water and Environment and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), have launched a public-private initiative to improve access to sanitation for the urban poor in Kampala.

THE Ministry of Water and Environment and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), have launched a public-private initiative to improve access to sanitation for the urban poor in Kampala.

By John Kasozi

THE Ministry of Water and Environment and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), have launched a public-private initiative to improve access to sanitation for the urban poor in Kampala.

The project will be implemented in partnership with Crestanks and Poly Fibre, private companies that produce and distribute plastic toilets.

“Sanitation practices like hand-washing and use of toilets are important for reduction of water-borne diseases. Local leaders must devise ways to implement them,” Maria Mutagamba, the water minister, said at the launching ceremony in Kawempe recently.

“Sanitation is too critical to be ignored and remains the health and water sectors’ step-child. Many people live in a dire sanitary environment and have to pay a huge price for it,” said Hermann Plumm, GTZ’s chief technical advisor.

The German ambassader, Reinhard Buchholz, said about 80% of infections are water and sanitation-related. According to the National Sanitation Working Group, Rukungiri and Ntungamo districts have the highest latrine coverage of 88% and 83%.

They are followed by Mukono, Masaka, Kampala, Kabarole and Kaabong at 80%. The worst performers are Abim at 10%, Moroto 23%, Bundibugyo 24%, Katakwi, Kotido and Moroto 25%.

Access to sanitation services stands at 59% countrywide, a situation which has contributed to outbreaks of cholera, diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases.

The two-year pilot phase of the project is estimated to cost sh480m. Of this, sh240m was contributed by GTZ, while the private companies contributed sh120m each. Crestanks and Polyfibre will set up demonstration units on use of the toilet facilities in six pilot parishes in Kampala.

The parishes are Kamwokya, Mengo, Luzira, Bwaise I, Nateete and Nsambya Central.

Besides, to enable residents purchase and install the toilets, Uganda Microfinance Limited and Centenary Bank will offer financial solutions. This, it is hoped, will ensure sustainability of the project.

Mutagamba said worldwide, 5,000 children die every hour because of poor sanitation. “Many hours are spent by their mothers in the hospitals looking after them instead of doing income-generating activities,” she said adding that her ministry would soon come up with a law to address the prevailing poor sanitation conditions.

Nasser Takuba, the Kawempe chairperson, said toilet coverage in the division had increased from 40% in 2001 to 80%. He added that the division would implement sanitation byelaws to curb the practice of discharging faeces in water channels.

The General Assembly of the United Nations declared 2008 the International Year of Sanitation (IYS).

The main objective of IYS is to put the global community on track to achieve the sanitation Millennium Development Goal which aims to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Kampala to get sh480m sanitation project

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