Mr Willis Bashaasha,director Manifesto Implementation Unit. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has said it is ahead of its manifesto target in provision of clean and safe water to Ugandans, barely half-way its current five-year mandate.
Mr Willis Bashaasha, the director of the Manifesto Implementation Unit in the Office of the President, said water supply currently stands at 78 per cent in rural areas and 72 per cent in urban areas, close to the 100 per cent coverage expected by 2020.
“I would give the water sector as the best performing …the National Water and Sewerage Corporation [NWSC] is doing a good job. It has a programme called Service Coverage Acceleration Programme (SCAP 100), which is intended to add an extra 12,000 households to the national urban grid, on top of other investments,” Mr Bashaasha said in an interview at the weekend.
Still in the water sector, Mr Bashaasha also pointed out that there has been heavy investment in gravity water flow schemes, water for production and construction of dams, all aimed at increasing access to safe water and irrigation in the agriculture sector.
However, Mr Bashaasha said they have not done well in the education sector, especially in terms of infrastructure because of funding gaps, corruption and bureaucracy.
“I think the biggest challenge we have in infrastructural development is still in education where we need to do a lot in terms of infrastructural development because the scope is still very wide,” he stated.
He also admitted that government is yet to deliver on its earlier pledge to provide free sanitary towels to school going girls as a way of curbing the high school dropout rate.
Other major strides have also been made in the energy sector where the construction of a $4b oil refinery, the oil pipeline, supposed to stretch from Hoima up to the Tanzanian cost of Tanga, as well as the huge investments in Karuma and Isimba dams meant to support the economy and increase power supply are on course, he said.
Mr Bashaasha also mentioned the various roads that have been completed within the past two years such as Fort Portal-Kamwenge and Ntungamo -Murama Hills. He said others such as Kanoni-Sembabule-Villa Maria, Entebbe Expressway, Mbarara By-pass and the Rushere –Nswerekye are in their final stages of completion.
“There are also like six bridges, which were completed within these two years and the five bridges, which are about to be completed. For ferries, Zengedi-Namasali, MV Kyoga 2 and Wanseko-Panamuru MV Albert 1 have been commissioned,” he added.
Mr Bashaasha said the limited resource envelope, acquisition of land for big investments, unpredictable shocks such as drought and corruption are the major challenges hindering the effective implementation of the manifesto.
He acknowledged that they have so far realised 38 per cent of their target in the last two years yet they target to implement a cumulative performance of 20 per cent every year.
In the health sector, he said the ruling party has seen substantial progress on rehabilitating Mulago National Referral Hospital to elevate it to a highly specialised hospital.
“Actually, we should be concluding by end of this year or early next year, which means we should be having a super specialised hospital that can address all health problems that have been making our citizens fly out of the country for treatment,” Mr Bashaasha said.
For security, Mr Bashaasha said the country is secure and peaceful. He said the internal security challenges such as lawlessness and criminality are being dealt with.
He said government has been able to commercialise the agriculture sector under the Operation Wealth Creation programme.
Mr Bashaasha said government has continued to support affirmative action where money has been sent to the ministry of Gender to support women and youth. He said as at January, the government was financing 3,248 projects for women and youth and about Shs1.8b disbursed to the projects under Women Enterprise Fund.