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Rapid urbanisation spurred by economic growth is exerting pressure on Uganda’s water supply resources and sanitation facilities.

In a bid to help the government improve heath and productivity in the country’s major towns, the African Development Bank has approved a $62 million concessional loan to finance its Strategic Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project (STWSSP).

The project, to be implemented in 10 towns spread across the country over a five-year period, is designed to enable government to achieve sustainable provision of safe water and sanitation for the urban population by 2030.

Residents in these 10 towns will be the primary beneficiaries: Kyenjojo-Katooke (Kyenjojo District), Nakasongola (Nakasongola District), Kayunga-Busana (Kayunga District), Kamuli (Kamuli District), Kapchworwa (Kapchorwa District), Dokolo (Dokolo District), Bundibugyo (Bundibugyo District) and Buikwe (Buikwe District.

The STWSSP will help to tackle challenges such as cholera through its three components:

(i) Urban Water Supply for the development of water supply systems for the selected towns/districts; and support regional water and sanitation authorities for effective utility management.

(ii) Improved Urban Sanitation and Environmental Management for the development of three regional faecal sludge treatment facilities supported by six desludging units; construction of 40 gender-segregated and disabled-friendly public sanitation facilities; and feasibility designs for climate change resilience.

(iii) Sector Programme Support for the regulatory framework and update of tariff policy; preparation of a framework for implementation of bulk water supply; and strengthening sector co-ordination and monitoring systems.

The STWSSP is estimated to cost $69.34 million, of which African Development Fund, will provide $62.33 million, and $6.94 million counterpart contribution from the government of Uganda.

On completion, the project will provide access to water and sanitation to 390,000 people by 2023.

Training in water and sanitation services

About 150 people will receive training in appropriate urban sanitation (masonry/mechanic artisans/waste management), targeting at least 20% women. Read more: International tech firms introduce water innovation

Sanitation and hygiene sensitisation will be conducted in 30 communities (targeting at least 50% women participation) and support skills development for economic empowerment of 200 youth and women.

The project will contribute to the goals of the government’s vision 2040 and the Second National Development Plan (NDP II), which aims to increase access to clean water and sanitation services in the major urban centres and their suburbs to 100% by 2030.