The company is also responsible for sewerage collection, transportation and treatment of sewerage in St Petersburg
The Ministry of Water and Environment and Vodokanal of St Petersburg company in Russia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve water and waste management in Uganda.
The MOU, is also meant to operationalise the agreed areas of partnership and cooperation which include; non-revenue water management, capacity development and skills using the water academy methods.
Others include; benchmarking, information sharing and awareness creation on water and environment, technological transfer in respect to sector needs such as design and construction, manufacturing of the material and equipment and IT solutions and regulatory framework.
Vodokanal, provides drinking water to more than five million residents and tens of thousands of enterprises and organisations.
The company is also responsible for sewerage collection, transportation and treatment of sewerage in St Petersburg. St Petersburg is Russia’s second largest city located on the shores of Baltic Sea.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the water minister, Sam Cheptoris said the collaboration supports the constitutional obligation, which requires Government to take appropriate measures to provide safe and clean water and to protect and conserve the environment.
“This ceremony paves way for formalising the working relationship with Vodokanal and the City of St Petersburg as well as singling out specific areas of assistance and collaboration,” he said.
“It is therefore an important vehicle through which we can realise the priorities of Uganda’s Vision 2040, the National Development Plan II, the water policy and the National Environment Management Authority policy, among others,” he added.
Cheptoris said the MOU was birthed after a study tour was made by officials from the ministry, National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and NEMA in April this year.
He said one of the measures has been to establish a water resources institute which among others will provide training to enhance the capacity of Ugandans and other stakeholders in water and environment management.
Dmitry Serov who led the Russian delegation, said Vodokanal continuously improves water supply and sewerage technologies, adding that drinking water in St Petersburg is harmless in terms of chemical composition and safe in terms of epidemiology and radiology.
“As much as 98.6% of waste water is treated, St Petersburg has fully solved the sludge disposal problem. There are currently three sludge incineration plants in operation in the city,” Serov said, adding that the MOU provides an opportunity to effectively address the complicated environmental challenges faced by modern big cities.
Dr Tom Okurut, the executive director NEMA who was part of the Ugandan delegation that visited St Petersburg said he was pleased to learn the attention being put on water and environment and the compact technology used.