Living Water International (LWI) Uganda, a Christian not-for- profit NGO, has requested Government to consider granting tax exemption on the equipment and borehole materials they bring into the country to provide safe drinking water to Ugandans.
Living Water International started work in Uganda on the invitation of the First Lady 10 years ago and has over these years helped to construct more than 1,100 water projects of various types benefiting over 400,000 people and 120 stances of institutional latrines benefiting more than 10,000 pupils in different areas of Uganda including Ruhaama, Ibanda and Nyabushozi which were facing a big Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) challenge.
The Board members of Living Water International Uganda made this request while meeting the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni on Thursday at Nakasero State House to update her and share with her the strategic direction of the organization. The Board Members included Board Chairperson Robert Nathan Thorp, who hails from USA and Ruth Okowa from Kenya and Regional Director for East Africa.
LWI Uganda Board Chairperson Robert Nathan Thorp informed the First Lady that in the last three years, the Organization has spent more than Ug. Shillings 790 million on import duty for equipment and boreholes materials which money could have helped construct 50 boreholes benefiting 15,000 persons, and in 2019 alone it will spend over Ug. Shillings 360 million if the status-quo remains.
Mrs. Janet Museveni hailed Living Water International for being faithful to God and serving God’s people and appreciated the Organization for the good work of increasing access to water and improving sanitation and hygiene that it is doing in Uganda. “You do a very good job and I have no doubt in my mind that God will continue providing for the Organization”, she added.
She said that Living Water International Uganda is doing genuine work and does not sell its services to the people and requested the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development to consider a possibility of waiving the import duty tax on the equipment being brought in the country by Living Water International Uganda.
“We are in fact ripping ourselves off because this money they are using would have instead benefited the communities through access to water”, she noted.
Mrs. Janet Museveni also accepted the role of Patron for LWI Uganda, which was requested of her by the Board members saying, “It is a real pleasure to give back to the Organization that has done so much for so many of our people for many years. It is humbling to remember that LWI came to Uganda as answered prayer. It therefore provides a real challenge to other Christian Organizations”.
Other issues talked about included a Church Leaders Conference being organized by Living Water in partnership with The Crossing Church (USA) in Kampala in July, an upcoming donor visit and the Living Water Gala slated for October in Houston Texas.
The Country Director Living Water International Uganda Benard Mooya informed the First Lady that with a total budget of US$ 1,263,866, they plan to construct 78 water projects to serve about 40,000 persons with safe water, two blocks of school latrines to serve more than 800 pupils, carry out 800 hygiene and sanitation trainings for more than 30,000 persons and to reach 25,000 people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A new programme to help the people of Mayuge District which is currently experiencing the greatest WASH challenge in Uganda will be opened this year.