Uganda and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) signed an infrastructure deal worth 79.1 million euros (about Shs328.6 billion) to improve water access in rural areas of Isingiro district.
The deal was signed Tuesday by Minister of Finance, Planning & Economic Development Matia Kasaija and AFD Country Director Hatem Chakroun at the Finance Ministry headquarters in presence of Jules-Armand Aniambossou, the ambassador of France to Uganda and Caroline Adriaensen, head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation in Uganda.
In a statement, AFD said a loan of 69 million euros will be used by the Ministry of Water & Environment to set up water supply infrastructure in the district through the Kagera water supply system that is to be constructed under the current Masaka-Mbarara water project.
The European Union contributed a grant of 8 million euros that will specifically target access to safe water and sanitation in refugee settlements of Nakivale and Oruchinga, says the statement. AFD’s 2.5 million euros grant 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… 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,” reads the statement.