Hon. Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning & Economic Development of the Republic of Uganda, and Mr. Hatem Chakroun, Country Director of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in Uganda, have signed a series of financing agreements totaling 79.1 million Euros (approximately 330 billion UGX) to improve an inclusive access to rural water in the district of Isingiro, Uganda. The signing ceremony took place at the Finance Ministry Headquarters in the presence of H.E Jules-Armand Aniambossou, Ambassador of France to Uganda and Ms. Caroline Adriaensen, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation in Uganda.
A 69 million Euros soft loan financing from AFD to the Ministry of Water & Environment, will support water supply in Isingiro district, through the Kagera water supply system that is to be constructed under the current Masaka-Mbarara water project.
As part of the whole project, a 8 million Euros grant from the European Union will specifically target access to safe water and sanitation in refugee settlements of Nakivale and Oruchinga located in the district of Isingiro and the immediate surrounding communities.
Lastly, a 2.5 million Euros grant from AFD will support technical assistance for the implementation of works under the Ministry of Water & Environment and the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC).
In Uganda, about 80% of the population lives in rural areas. However, access to safe water supply shows sharp discrepancies between districts. Some of the rural districts which are lagging behind in terms of access to water also host refugees. In the remote South-Western Isingiro district, access to safe water supply is only at 43%, whereas the district hosts about 132 000 refugees in the two settlement areas.
The Isingiro project aims at providing piped water services to both host and refugee communities across the district. The number of beneficiaries will be 340,000 (out of a district population of 550,000), including the 132,000 refugees living in the Nakivale and Oruchinga settlement areas.
The project incorporates the Government of Uganda’s agenda through interlinkage of the humanitarian & development nexus. It will improve equitable service delivery by targeting one of the water stressed districts in the country, ensuring improved access for both host and refugee communities, and addressing gender and environmental issues specific to the area.