By Sophan Niwamanya
The Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Water and Environment, is hunting for over 60 billion shillings to settle 168 cases from courts of law as a result of failing to compensate people where the ministry built water reservoir tanks across the country.
This was yesterday revealed by Isaac Kawonawo, a senior sociologist in the ministry of water and environment, during a press briefing with journalists at the White Horse Inn hotel in Kabale municipality while on his familiarization tour in Kabale district.
Kawonawo says that compensation and land acquisition are the major challenges hindering the ministry, in that as the government, they apparently don’t have money for compensation. He revealed that the ministry has lost projects on several occasions due to difficult land acquisition processes, necessitating fund kickbacks to donors.
Kawonawo said the policy recommends a disturbance fee but not a compensation fee. He said that even if the government decides to compensate, it will be insufficient and instead impose disturbance fees.
He asserted that the government would now be hunting for 8 billion shillings as part of the disturbance fee, but since they are court cases, it may require more than 60 billion shillings for compensation.
Currently in Uganda, the safety of water is at 68 percent, and Kawonawo hopes for it to increase to 90 percent in the next two years.