Muhanga Residents Protest Increased Water Costs

1769 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Residents say that NWSC has since increased tariffs from 2,716 to 3,500 Shillings per unit and reinstated Value Added Tax. It also charges a service fee of 2,000 Shillings. They argue that the taxes are making piped water unaffordable.

Communities in Muhanga Town Council, Kabale District are protesting the increase in the cost of water supplied by National Water and Sewerage Corporation-NWSC.

The Public Utility Company, with a mandate is to operate and provide water and sewerage services, took over the water supply chain in Muhanga town council in January 2015. Prior to this, the town council was sustained through the Water and Sanitation Development Facility, a government program which Supported small towns and Rural Growth Centres to access piped safe water and improved sanitation.

However, residents say that NWSC has since increased tariffs from 2,716 to 3,500 Shillings per unit and reinstated Value Added Tax. It also charges a service fee of 2,000 Shillings. They argue that the taxes are making piped water unaffordable.

They accuse National Water and Sewerage Corporation of estimating consumption prior to billing adding that often, units reflected on the water bills are always different from the reading on their meters.

Oscar Akampurira, the head teacher of Muhanga Golden Primary School says that an increase in the cost of water is a disservice to the community.
 
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Francis Turanzomwe, another concerned consumer questions why National Water and Sewerage Corporation for failing to analyze exact readings on the meters than estimating. Turanzomwe is mobilizing locals to hold a peaceful demonstration against National Water.
 
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Sharon Turyasiima, another concerned water consumer says that their complaints have not been heeded to over previous months. She adds that some residents have resorted to fetching water from unprotected sources, in order to avoid the bills.
 
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Eli Mukiibi, the National Water and Sewerage Corporation Muhanga branch manager declined to comment on the matter.  However, Lenny Otai, the area Manager for National Water and Sewerage Corporation Kabale District said that his office was not aware of the complaints but promised to follow-up the matter for a possible solution.

 

About the author

Samuel Amanya
Samuel Amanya is the Kigezi Region URN bureau chief. Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rukungiri districts fall under his docket. Samuel Amanya has been a Uganda Radio Network reporter since August 2016. Before becoming a URN staff reporter, Amanya had written for the network for several years as a freelancer.


Amanya was also a Voice of Kigezi reporter from 2011 to 2016.


A journalism graduate from African College of Commerce Kabale, Amanya values his independence. Amanya says URN is a home for his talent because it lets him explore his journalistic interests without limits.

Amanya is fascinated by the crime beat and some of his best stories have come out of that interest. Amanya says he aims to be all round beat reporter.