Multi-billion Karuma-Gulu Water Project to be Commissioned Next Year

The multi-billion Karuma-Gulu water project will be commissioned in October 2024, according to a timeline by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation.

The Karuma-Gulu water project is expected to boost the capacity of water production in Gulu City from the current 12,000 litres of water per day to 22,000 litres per day. Already 4.5 Kms out of 69.5 kilometers of the transmission mains have been laid with ongoing construction of a 5,300 Cubic meters capacity tank at Customs Corner in Bardege-Layibi Division.

Construction works for the project involving the establishment of the water treatment plant, reservoirs, and installation of 72-kilometre transmission main pipelines kicked off in March last year.

The project,  jointly funded by a grant from Kfw and a loan from the World Bank at a cost of 170 billion Shillings, is being executed by French construction firm Sogea Satom and Denys NV and implemented under the Integrated Water Management and Development Project Program (IWMDP).

Johnson Amayo, the Deputy Managing Director in charge of Technical Services at National Water and Sewerage Corporation said on Monday that the construction of the water intake at River Nile is already complete. The water intake which sits at the bank of the River Nile adjacent to the Karuma Hydropower plant will pump 30 million litres of water daily according to Amayo.

He notes that the contractor is currently undertaking the second phase of the construction works for the water treatment plant which is expected to be completed in July 2024. The treatment plant will be able to treat 10 million litres of water pumped from the water intake point.

Amayo who was speaking at a stakeholder’s engagement meeting in Gulu City said the project will see water drawn from the River Nile supplied to improve on the current quantity of water being consumed in Gulu City. With a total of 11,000 clients in Gulu City, NWSC is currently producing 10 million litres of water daily.

He is optimistic that the contractor will beat the project’s timeline and called on the cooperation of the local leaders.

Gulu City Mayor Alfred Okwonga notes that the project is a blessing to the city population who have ensured water supply challenges for decades. Okwonga says the growing population needs an adequate supply of water arguing that the current water sources in the city have heavily been affected by climate change.

He also called on the government for further funding of the city’s capacity to expand its sewerage line which he says is only at two percent coverage.

Oyam District Chairperson Nelson Adea Akar however raised concerns that the project hasn’t considered beneficiaries in Ngora Trading Center in Kamdini Town Council and Oyam District Headquarters. He says while Oyam district is hosting the project, clients in the two areas have been left out adding that the government should consider constructing reservoirs.

Amos Okot, the Agago North legislator on the other hand alleged that the sizes of pipes being installed for water transmission along the 72-kilometer route are much smaller than what had earlier been approved. But Amayo in response refuted the claims arguing that the contractor was using the recommended size of pipe that would be capable of carrying the required volume of water.

Leaders from the region including councillors and division mayors from Gulu city and legislators led by the Acholi Parliamentary Group Chairperson Anthony Akol also Kilak North MP yesterday made a tour of the intake and water treatment site in Kamdini.

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