The Managing Director of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), Mr. Silver Mugisha, has expressed concerns about the misuse of fire hydrants by the police, resulting in financial losses for the corporation. The issue was brought to light during a meeting with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and police management.
NWSC provides fire hydrants free of charge to fight fires as mandated by law. To monitor water usage for emergency firefighting, records are maintained. Currently, there are 897 fire hydrants in the Kampala Metropolitan area. Mr. Mugisha highlighted that NWSC loses 40 percent of water in Kampala and less than 20 percent in other areas due to theft, significantly impacting their services.
Mr. Mugisha clarified that the misuse of fire hydrants, which prompted this concern, does not stem from the police as an institution but rather from individual actions. Joseph Mukisa, the director of Fire and Rescue Services in the police, confirmed that NWSC had previously raised this issue, and the matter was addressed effectively.
Nevertheless, Mr. Mugisha emphasized that the major challenge in Kampala remains water loss through illegal connections. To combat water theft, NWSC is implementing the Non-Revenue Water 10 program, targeting the 10 percent of customers with illegal water connections nationwide. Customers with illegal connections are encouraged to report themselves to NWSC within one month for regularization, and those who voluntarily comply will not face sanctions.
However, customers discovered by NWSC to be on illegal water supply will be subject to actions specified by the Water Act. Additionally, NWSC is installing smart meters for improved monitoring and control of water usage.