Private water dealers reap big

8125 Views Kampala, Uganda
Water consumers in slum areas in the outskirts of Kampala are exploited to the maximum as the need to access clean and safe water pushes them to buy water from taps. Although the National Water and Sewerage Corporation sells a 20 liter jerry can of water for a paltry 8 shillings, consumers of the water pay ten times the price to the same quantity of water. A 20 liter jerry can of water in Kampala costs between shillings 100 and 200 depending on where one resides. David Kato has piped water at his residence. He sells a 20 liter jerry can of water for 100 or 200 shillings depending on the demand. Kato says he decided to sell water at that price because he shoulders the entire burden of maintain the tap and ensuring that the service runs uninterrupted. He also says some of the consumers are careless while fetching the water and leave it overflow. Kato says this costs him in terms of money and water. Harriet Nakalema buys water from a tap next to her home, but does not know how much NWSC charges for the water. Nakalema consumes 80 liters of water on a daily basis and pays 100 shillings for each jerry can. John B Otema, the manager Pro- poor urban water project Kampala water says NWSC charges 860 shillings per unit of water. A unit has 800 liters an equivalent of 50 jerry cans of water. NSWC sells each jerry can of water at 8shillings to all private water consumers. The principal public relation officer of NWSC Miriam Kadaga says that much as consumers are being exploited, NWSC can not regulate the prices of private water dealers. She says that the NWSC has built water kiosks in different areas to help supply water to consumers at the cheapest price possible. Kadaga says that at the kiosks water is sold at the 8 shillings per jerry can. She also says that NWSC has launched auto metered water taps to curb on the exploitation. She says through the auto metered water taps, NWSC will be able to provide water consumers with a cheap service. In the metered water tap all the consumer has to inserts coins in the meter and get water that is equivalent to what they paid for. The automated meter water project is currently being piloted in Kisenyi and Ndeeba.


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