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Uganda to host 22nd International Water Congress and Exhibition

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Uganda is set to host the 22nd AfWASA International Congress and Exhibition (AfWASA ICE2025) which will bring together water sector players from across the world.

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), an agency of the Ministry of Water and Environment will host the high-level event, organized by the African Water and Sanitation Association (AfWASA) Board under the theme: Water and Sanitation for All: A Secure Future for Africa.

The event slated to take place from February 16-20, 2025 at the Speke Resort Convention Centre brings together different water and sanitation actors from various parts of the world to share experiences, exchange ideas, and collaborate on the best practices and policies for growing the sector.

Speaking during the launch at the NWSC resource centre in Bugolobi, Dr. Silver Mugisha, NWSC MD said the self-sustaining event will provide opportunities for networking for delegates to leverage and build business partnerships.

“We are going to be talking about issues affecting the water sector. The issues are very clear, we know we are lagging behind as a continent as far as water and sanitation coverage is concerned. Very few people have water and safe sanitation and there are many more who need to be served,” said Dr. Mugisha who is also the President of the African Water and Sanitation Association.

He said that the conference which will be hosted in Uganda for the 3rd time to discuss leadership and governance misalignment including how the water and sanitation sector is managed in Africa.

“In that congress, that’s when we shall be celebrating the establishment of the African Water and Sanitation Academy (AWASA) which is going to be a subsidiary of AfWASA, but it is ongoing to be based here in Uganda and it is going to be a model institution,” added Dr. Mugisha.

The academy to be hosted by NWSC, Uganda is a center of excellence aimed at improving the water and sanitation sector’s performance in Africa. Its primary purpose is to build the capacity of water and sanitation utility managers and African decision-makers in the sector.

Dr. Mugisha said the centre hopes to encourage their growth in the various aspects of leadership and change management. This goal will be achieved by innovatively combining the scientific, technical, and governance structures of the water and sanitation sector as part of a specific African identity. “The official launch of the AWASA will be one of the Congress’ key activities,” he said.

Sam Mangusho Cheptoris, the Minister of Water and Environment said that hosting the 22nd AfWASA International Congress and Exhibition aligns with Uganda’s vision of achieving SDG 6.

“This is timely, as Africa grapples with the various challenges facing the water and sanitation sector. Most African countries, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, are off track to meet SDG 6 by 2030 I’m sure that bringing together experts to share knowledge experiences, and new breakthroughs during the Congress will provide the necessary impetus to accelerate the attainment of SDG 6 and also ensure a secure future for Africa,” the Minister said.

Cheptoris said that the government of Uganda recognizes that access to safe drinking water and sanitation services is a basic human right and that it has put water and sanitation at the forefront and an enabler to sustainable development.

“As a country, we have made strides in enhancing water and sanitation services, which we are proud of but we are also cognizant that more still needs to be done to achieve the SDGs,” he said, adding that the government is committed to ensuring water and sanitation for all.

Emmanuel Otiam Otala, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources said water is an essential commodity that needs to be given the priority that it deserves in terms of sector funding.

“When our people don’t get clean and safe water, many things come in including diseases, malnutrition, and of course, the overall agricultural productivity in a country like this one will be affected,” he said.

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