NWSC, Residents Bicker Over Water Gravity Schemes

1628 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Augustine Twabakazi, a resident of Kyigara parish says he is opposed to the takeover of the schemes because NWSC has a record for overcharging their customers.

National Water and Sewerage Corporation-NWSC is feuding with residents of Kamwezi Sub County in Kabale district over five gravity water flow schemes. The gravity water flow schemes are found in Kyogo, Kyabuhangwa, Kashekye, Rwenyangye and Kigara parishes. 

The schemes were established by World Vision, a nongovernmental organisation in 2000 to help communities access safe water. Last month, NWSC took over the schemes in a Shillings 500 million project with authorisation from the sub county leadership. 

The move drew angry protests from residents saying they were not consulted before the decision to hand over the schemes to the water body was reached. They are demanding compensation from NWSC installs pipes through their land. 

Last week, a team of NWSC officials from Kabale who had gone to survey the route for laying the pipes in Kyabuhangwa parish narrowly survived being lynched by residents. Patrick Kamaniini, a resident of Kyabuhangwa Parish, says that he just saw people from NWSC with machines surveying his land without his permission. 

According to Kamaniini, NWSC has to first compensate them before installing pipes on their land. Augustine Twabakazi, a resident of Kyigara parish says he is opposed to the takeover of the schemes because NWSC has a record for overcharging their customers. 

Twabakazi says that they are comfortable with the Shillings 2000 they have been paying monthly for maintaining the scheme, insisting that there is no reason why NWSC should interfere with that arrangement. Kedres Turiburahe, a resident of Rwenyangi parish, says they were not sensitized about the takeover of the schemes. 

However, Tedson Niwagaba, the Kamwezi Sub county LC III chairperson says they asked NWSC to take over the schemes because they had broken down and need to be upgraded. According to Niwagaba, sub county authorities petitioned government to take over the Gravity water flow schemes last year after registering several cases of water borne diseases like typhoid and Diarrhea resulting from the consumption of unsafe water.
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Lenny Otai, the Kabale area Manager NWSC, saying it is only a small portion of the community opposed to the takeover because of ignorance. He however, says they will continue with the planned work, since the sub county authorities are the ones that requested NWSC to take over the schemes. He says once they complete installing the pipes, they will sit down with all stakeholders to discuss the costs of water.


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.