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Civil society call for increased water, sanitation budgets

By Wilson Manishimwe

Added 20th March 2019 01:49 PM

Mukunda said more money should be allocated to sanitation and hygiene improvement in communities and people there must participate to ensure accountability, value for money and transparency.

Civil society call for increased water, sanitation budgets

Siraj Magara speaking at the discussion. (Photo by Wilson Mainishiimwe)

Mukunda said more money should be allocated to sanitation and hygiene improvement in communities and people there must participate to ensure accountability, value for money and transparency.

Civil society organisations have urged the government to increase budgets for water hygiene and sanitation (WASH) projects if the country is to have sanitation-related disease free population.

"Going forward, we are saying there's need to prioritise WASH projects. On average, the country needs about sh6.5trillion per annum for Uganda to be able to take water and sanitation to meet National Development Programme (NDP) II targets which ends in 2020," said Collins Amanya, the Principal Economist in Ministry of Water and Environment.

He noted that NDP-II as set by Government calls for 100% water supply in urban areas, 79% safe water average in rural areas as well as 95% well managed sanitation services across the country.

"So that money may not be there but we need to elevate the amounts of funds that are earmarked for WASH projects/ activities. The sh2b which is set aside by ministry of water for WASH isn't really enough, we need to put up facilities for governments, community sensitisation among others," said Amanya.

He said this during WASH financing dialogue at Water Resources Institute in Entebbe on Tuesday.

Julius Mukunda, the executive director Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) explained that government in most cases takes sanitation as a private issue for households, a reason less resources are allocated to it.

"Originally it is that you build your own house and put in place all water sanitation things such as hand washing facilities, toilets among others. However, population has increased which calls for establishment of government WASH facilities in schools, informal settlements and towns," he stated.

Mukunda said more money should be allocated to sanitation and hygiene improvement in communities and people there must participate to ensure accountability, value for money and transparency.

He hailed WaterAid for supporting WASH projects through funding surveys about hygiene, sanitation situations in different parts of the country.

"There is money in the government but the problem lies in the way it is spent, less emphasis is put on sanitation and hygiene. It's up to us as citizens to monitor what is allocated to such projects in budgeting process,' said Mukunda.

According to survey done by CSBAG on government financing for WASH for in January this year in public schools indicates that there's a less pupil- toilet stance ration at 1:62. This figure is less than the national ratio which stands at 1:40.

The report also found out that there was no specific money provided in public schools to fund WASH projects.

Emilly Namanya, the WASH coordinator at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) said a lot has been done to enhance better sanitation conditions in the city.

She pointed at Weyonje programme going on in areas of Kamwokya which has brought locals on board as far as advocating for sanitation is concerned. However, she said there's need for mindset change in communities to get rid of habits such as littering and dumping garbage in drainage channels.

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