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Ugandan government to inaugurate major water project

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Ugandan government to inaugurate major water project

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Photo: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

Uganda’s northern Dokolo District will today commence a $4.4 million project to increase access to clean water in rural communities.

The year-long project, contracted to Chinese Zhongmei Engineering Group Ltd., will install a booster pump to increase water pressure and expand clean water access for the district.

Clean water and sanitation services have been strained by an enormous population boom in Uganda, which has prompted a surge to over 44 million people today. Contaminated water supplies are an enormous burden on public health; roughly half of Ugandans lack access to safe drinking water and thousands of children die every year from waterborne illnesses.

While Uganda has largely contained the domestic spread of COVID-19—with just over 1,000 cases reported in urban centres—the economic effect of the pandemic threatens to exacerbate existing crises of water scarcity and communicable disease. Urban citizens spend as much as 22% of their income on water access, a figure that could be boosted in the short-term as COVID-19 devastates vital economic activity such as tourism.

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