By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The National water and sewerage Corporation Managing Director, Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha Speaks on the journey ahead and a plan to fulfill universal coverage of access to safe and clean water across the country.
Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho caught up with the Managing Director NWSC Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha and here is what he said on a bid to streamline transparency towards achieving 100% national wide coverage.
Considering numerous accusations and allegations aimed at tarnishing the good image of our organization with permission from the Board we hereby respond as follows:
The NWSC Board and Management have on the attention over the last twelve months, been drawn to the allegations of irregularities by officials of NWSC. Therefore the board has, through its established internal audit processes and other mechanisms, carried out inquires and adopted the following findings.
On Alleged Illegal takeover of NWSC land at Mutundwe Hill,
According to Dr. Mugisha, the land of NWSC exists and is housing the NWSC tank with its accessories, supplying the customers of Mutundwe Hill via a water booster pump at Wankulukuku. The NWSC has opened boundaries of the said land and found it separate from that of the managing director. NWSC is in possession of its title.
However, on the alleged Unlawful Construction of a tarmacked road to the residence of the Managing Director on Mutundwe Hill,
Dr.Mugisha said that, like all other NWSC reservoirs and water works e.g. Muyenga, Mutungo, Naguru, Nakasero, Gabba, Katosi; the Mutundwe tank was constructed with an all-weather road to enable all-weather access to the tank for easy maintenance and operation. The construction process was carried out in accordance with PPDA Act and Regulations by Kampala Water Management.
While on the alleged Misappropriation of UGX 500,000,000/- for Kachung Training Facility in Lira,
Dr. Mugisha said the said amount was paid as part of the 20 percent advance to Ambitious Construction Ltd to construct a training facility at Kachung Water Works and upon failure of commencement of construction, the contract was terminated in accordance with PPDA Act and the advance payment refunded on 17th December 2019 to NWSC accounts. The evidence of refund was presented to the Board.
And on the alleged irregular Recruitment and promotion of staff at NWSC,
He said, the Board found that all staff at NWSC is recruited in accordance with the provisions of the Human Resources Manual. The issue of casuals and support staff in Bushenyi is NOT unique to Bushenyi but applies to all NWSC towns due to pressure of unemployment in Uganda.
“Such staffs are only taken on establishment of the corporation when resources have been budgeted and approved and when the corporation’s business growth permits. The absorption process of such staff is transparent, fair and goes through a corporate-wide competitive process” Mugisha said.
On PPDA Investigation into the Procurement of prepaid meters,
Dr. Mugisha established that, the board found out that this contract performance investigation was carried out by PPDA in line with the provision of the PPDA Act, with issuance of a number of recommendations to be acted upon by NWSC. There was nothing like clearing anyone in the report.
He said that the Management of NWSC has been implementing therecommendations with a view of ensuring fair dealing and no financial loss to NWSC.
“The spouse that is mentioned in the allegations was recruited by the Board in accordance to the NWSC Human Resource Manual, Way before the commencement of PPDA contract performance audit” Mugisha said.
On the Financial Transaction on Bamugisha Community Welfare Ltd (BCWL),
Eng. Dr. Mugisha further said that, the Board noted that BCWL is a private not-for-profit organization whose objectives are aimed at supporting needy communities.
Accordingly, it was discovered that no NWSC financial resources have been deposited on the bank account of BCWL. Basing on the evidence obtained from written testimonies by the said contributors, shows that they all made contributions on their own will to support needy communities, and causes of the not for profit organization with no influence peddling and abuse of power from anyone related to NWSC as alleged by self seeking characters. Furthermore the Board was also convinced and shown written evidence of acknowledgement of community support from BCWL.
On the alleged irregularity in the procurement of the training facility for South Western Region,
According to the information obtained by our reporter shows that, the Board received documentary evidence that the facility was procured following a provision in the statutory Corporate Plan (2018-2021), which had an approved milestone to establish regional training hubs.
According to End Dr. Mugisha, the acquisition concept was approved by the Board before commencing an open domesticcompetitive bidding process in accordance with PPDA Act.
He said that the “Tendering process specified that the facility had to be along Mbarara-Bushenyi axis to capture the centrality of the training facility”. Mugisha said.
“It was a requirement to subject the best evaluated bidder to property valuation by the Chief Government Valuer (CGV) before contract award, which was dully carried out. The tendering process was subjected to approvals by the contracts committee, the Board of NWSC and Solicitor General, before contract signature. The corporation is keeping safe custody of titles for the land. The Board also visited the training facility to appreciate the physical value “Said Eng Mugisha.
On the alleged financial irregularities regarding mobile money transaction on MD’s telephone Dr. Mugisha said that, the board after investigations, found that the telephone number in question is a known telephone number of the Managing Director which is part of the closed user group (CUG) of the corporation.
He said that, the practice at NWSC has for the last over 10 years, been that all CUG numbers were registered in the names of NWSC but attached to individuals’ users. This practice was recently abolished through a directive from UCC, to the effect that all telephones had to be registered in individual names.
“The Board found that no NWSC funds have been channeled through the Managing Director’s said phone.”
The Board also noted that whereas the corporation has a policy of receiving payments through mobile money platforms, it does NOT have a policy of paying out money through mobile money platforms. That means the mobile money transactions alluded to are the Managing Director’s private and personal transactions.
On the alleged misuse of COVID-19 funds received from Government,
Dr. Mugisha said, the NWSC Board, through the Ministry of Water and Environment, requested COVID-19 relief funds to ease its strained cash flows due to the pandemic, the corporation has never received such funds.
“The corporation has only been receiving payments of its bills and counterpart funding from Government that has been paid out for the purpose for which it was released and in line with its legitimate (lawful) commitments” Mugisha said.
On the alleged irregularities in the implementation of SCAP100,
Eng.Mugisha said, the 100 percent Service Coverage Acceleration Project (SCAP100) is a very successful project that has helped to extend the NWSC water network length from about 13,000Kms to 20,000Kms in just a span of four years.
He said that, under the same project, connections have increased from 530,000 to 800,000 connections. There are also many water production improvement projects that have been implemented under SCAP100, in the whole country.
The project is implemented by Area technical teams, with Head Office only providing bulk materials like pipes, which have been procured through framework contracts in accordance with PPDA Act.
He said that, the Board, which is relatively new, has noted tremendous improvements in growth of business of the corporation in the last seven years (2014-to date). The annual turnover has increased from UGX 150Bn/- to UGX450/-; water connection subscribers have increased from 270,000 to 800,000; the water network length has increased from 6,500Kms to 20,000Kms; the total assets have increased UGX 650Bn/- to UGX 3,500Bn/-; number of towns served have increased from 23 to 258.
“We encourage the public and all well-wishers of development of our country, Uganda, to avoid sending sensational material on the much-liberalized media platforms, without adequate research and investigation. The practice does not only disrupt productive time of organizations like NWSC but reduces the morale of serving Ugandans” Eng.Mugisha asks the Public.
On completeing, Katosi-Kampala Drinking Water Transmission Lines,
Eng. Dr. Mugisha Silver Mugisha Managing Director NWSC said, the Government of Uganda has completed construction of the Katosi-Kampala drinking water transmission lines to supply clean, safe drinking water to the increasing population around the greater Kampala Metropolitan area.
Eng. Mugisha said that, project works consist of 51km of pipeline of various sizes (DN 1400mm to DN500mm) and associated works from a new reservoir at Nsumba hill to a new reservoir at Ssonde hill and from Ssonde reservoir to a new booster station at Namugongo and finally to Naguru reservoir.
He noted that, the said the line consists of a reinforced concrete reservoir of capacity 15,000m3 at Ssonde hill and a new booster station at Namugongo with associated electromechanical equipment.
Dr. Mugisha further adds that. Following completion of the works, by NWSC officials, the system is now under final testing and pre-commissioning phase that involve among others flushing and disinfection of the water mains and the new reservoir before the water can be supplied to customers.
“In this regard, the public is hereby informed that the flushing exercise shall commence on Tuesday 11th May 2021 and shall take a maximum of 15 days, “Dr. Mugisha said.
He reaffirmed that, NWSC will in the near future be adding the 160,000,000 litres of water per day to the greater Kampala Metropolitan area and that it shall go a long way in solving the existing water scarcity.
On the New NWSC Waste Plant in Bugolobi to treat over 45 Million Litres of water daily,
The managing Director of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha, said the progress of works on an ultra-modern waste water treatment plant in Bugolobi is at 99% to be completed.
Dr. Silver Mugisha, further said, the new plant at Bugoloobi will treat over 45 million litres of waste water daily and generate 621 Kilowatts of bio-gas electricity.
The plant will also divert and treat the dry flow from the heavily polluted Nakivubo channel before releasing water into Lake Victoria.
“The sewage effluent we release is of good quality and will help to conserve our environment. The plant will also produce manure to support the agriculture sector and generate over 630KW from biogas,” Mugisha said
He said that NWSC technical staffs are working day and nights to putting final touches to the sewage treatment plant.
Eng. Mugisha said, this project encompasses a sewage pre-treatment plant in Kinawataka, a sewerage pumping station on Kibira road and 31km of sewer network.
He however called on Kampala residents to apply and connect to the new system.
The plant uses nuisance free technology and bio-filters, will serve Naguru, Ntinda, Nakawa, Bugolobi, Kyambogo, Kiwanataka, Banda, Kasokoso, Butabika and surrounding areas.
“This substantially extends piped sewerage services outside the Central Business District, Old Kampala, Kiseka Market area, Kololo and Nakasero,” Mugisha said.
The Bugolobi-Nakivubo sewerage plants comes six years after the commissioning of the Lubigi sewage treatment plant in 2014.