By Frank Kamuntu
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged has Ugandans and other Africans to preserve water at all costs because water is life.
Museveni made the remarks on Monday while addressing the African Water Association Conference 2020 at tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia’s Serena International Conference Centre, Munyonyo.
Shortly after delivering his speech, president Museveni tweeted thus; “Addressed the 20th African Water Association (AFWA) International Congress at Serena International Conference Centre today. I welcome all the guests to this beautiful country and urge you to feel at home.”
He added that “It is the same concern with household incomes, fighting corruption, getting our masses out of traditional to commercial farming, stabilizing land productivity through irrigation and security. We must address all these to achieve equilibrium.”
The President also noted that “I congratulate Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha, the NWSC MD, for assuming office as the new chair of AFWA. I also congratulate him for authoring a book, “Sustaining High Performing Public Enterprises”, which I launched today.”
Dr Mugisha takes over the mantle from Mr Abderrahim El Hafidi of Morocco, who is the outgoing AfWA Chairperson.
During the Conference which started on Monday 24th and will run till Thursday February 27, 2020, there are various issues to be discussed among which is digitalising access to safe water supply, protection of the environment and endangered water resources, climatic changes and modern irrigation methods, to mention but a few.
The conference was organised by the NWSC in conjunction with the African Water Association (AfWA), formerly known as Union of African Water Suppliers (UAWS), which is a professional association of establishments, enterprises and utilities operating in the areas of drinking water, sanitation and environment in Africa.
The AfWA 2020 attracted over 100 utilities and delegates from over 40 countries across Africa and is running under the theme “Breaking New grounds to accelerate access to water and sanitation for all in Africa”, a theme that is particularly relevant to the water and sanitation sector in Africa.
As part of the mechanisms to enhance the exchange of ideas and recent developments in the water and sanitation sector, AfWA holds an International Congress and Exhibition every two years.
The last Congress (19th AfWA ICE) was held in Bamako, Mali in February, 2018.
At that Bamako Congress, the AfWA Executive Board selected Kampala-Uganda as host for the next AfWA ICE 2020.
The congress is organised under these objectives:
Bringing together a diverse range of practitioners, scientists, development partners and industry representatives, working across different areas of water and sanitation sector across the world.
Providing opportunities for translation of research to practice .
Identifying new breakthroughs (both research and good practices) in addressing water and sanitation challenges in Africa.
Reflecting on Africa’ progress in achieving the Short-term Development Goals (SDGs) and establishing new impetus to achieve water and sanitation for all.
Providing a forum for young water professions, students and early career researchers and practitioners to engage with international experts, thus helping to educate the next generation and emerging water leaders.
Fostering interactions with development partners, financing institutions and solution providers, and advocate the benefits of collaboration and support towards achieving water and sanitation for all in Africa.
Contributing to the continuing development and expansion of the various international, regional and national partnerships and associations