National Water Spends Monthly sh800m on UMEME to Run Katosi Plant

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Eng. Tweheyo said that though the plant is currently at 52% production rate, they are spending sh800m monthly only for electricity which is quite a very huge amount.

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has decried the high electricity bills paid to UMEME for running Katosi Water Treatment Plant on a monthly basis.

Eng. Joseph Tweheyo, the Manager Water Production Katosi plant said that the pumps which are used to pump water at Katosi are largely consuming electricity.

Eng. Silver Mugisha, the deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa and MP Nabeta inspecting the Katosi Water Treatment Plant.

Tweheyo said that though the plant is currently at 52% production rate, they are spending sh800m monthly only for electricity which is quite a very huge amount.

“We are asking government to review our power tariff because per now, we are on a tariff which is the same as the one for domestic users. Instead, we could be considered as the manufacturing companies that go for slightly lower tariff compared to ours,” he said.

Eng. Tweheyo made the plea to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa who was in company with a number of legislators with whom they visited and inspected Katosi Water Treatment Plant on Wednesday to assess the value for money which parliament approved for its construction.

Among the legislators who accompanied Tayebwa, they included; Mukono district woman MP, Hanifa Nabukeera, Fred Kayondo, the Mukono South MP, Igeme Nathan Nabeta, the Jinja Municipality East MP, Oliver Katwesigye Kokyenga of Buhweju district, Helen Nakimuli of Kalangala district, Ethel Naluyima Woman MP Wakiso district among others.

Eng. Joseph Tweheyo (left), the manager water production Katosi explaining the processing of treating water at Katosi plant. Centre, Eng. Silver Mugisha, the NWSC Managing Director and the Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa looking on.

During the interaction, Tayebwa discovered that the plant solely depend on UMEME meaning that in case of any power blackout, its production can be affected.

“That is so risky; my advice is for National Water to think of any source of backup, solar power inclusive. If we can outsource a service provider who can give us high voltage solar power system which can run this plant, we can take him on. That is the way to go,” he said.

Katosi Water Treatment Plant construction which lasted for over three years and launched in 2021 cost sh650bns.

Eng. Silver Mugisha, the Managing Director of National Water says Katosi plant was constructed with a water production capacity of 240,000m³ litres per day though currently it’s producing to a tune of 160,000m³/day.

Mugisha said that if government listens to their plea and considers them for the electricity tariff which is slightly fare; it will help them get some serious savings on a monthly basis.

MPs inspecting Katosi plant.

“We shall use the money saved to connect other customers to National Water Grid to reduce them from the burden of high priced water which is also contaminated. Though we sell a jerrycan of our water at only sh100, I am aware in some parts of Kampala metropolitan which are experiencing water scarcity, the same jerrycan of water costs sh1000,” he said.

Eng. Johnson Amayo, the NWSC deputy Managing Director in charge of technical services received Tayebwa and his team in the morning at Nsumba where there is water reservoir for treated water from Katosi with storage capacity of 40m litres.

Eng. Amayo said that in order they are soon starting on the construction of a big reservoir on Kanyaya hill of 15m litres capacity, which will sort out water scarcity on Gayaza road and Kawempe.  He also said that the plans of constructing a reservoir at Kabulengwa are also underway.

Tayebwa however said he was convinced by what he found on ground at Katosi saying there is value for money. He said that because during the budgeting process they are constrained by money, they are going to start giving priority to agencies like National Water which utilize well the money allocated to them.

From left, Eng. Silver Mugisha addressing the MPs and the Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa.

“Together with the Speaker Anita Among, we resolved that we go into the field, supervise and inspect the government projects which over time we have been allocating money. We ceased taking paper accountability reports which find us in parliament,” he said.

Mukono woman MP Nabukeera showed dismay saying the people living around the plant at Katosi and the neighbouring village in Mukono ended at seeing big pipes lined through their gardens and compounds but they are up to now drinking water from dirty sources yet the people in Kampala are benefiting from this very water, something she said is not good.

Deputy Speaker Tayebwa and the MPs at Katosi.

In response, the NWSC manager in charge of Kampala Water, Mahmood Lutaaya said the works to have these people get water are almost done adding that any time soon they will be connected to the piped and clean drinking water.

Mukono South MP, Fred Kayondo asked National Water to think of constructing some modern toilets around different landing sites in Katosi and Koome landing site so that people stop easing themselves in the bushes and directly in the lake, something which contaminates the water and increases the cost of treating it.

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa and some of the legislators at Nsumba Water Reservoirs on Wednesday morning. In the background, are the huge water storage tanks.

“We were told the water at Gaba had got contaminated and that was the sole reason that made you extend as far as this side. If that challenge is not addressed through a corporate social responsibility, soon the water here will also get contaminated,” he said.


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