In memoriam of Honorable Maria Mutagamba, former Minister, Ugandan Cabinet, Kampala, Uganda

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Maria Lubega Mutagamba. She passed away on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the age of 64, succumbing to cancer. Our thoughts are with her and her family.

Hon. Maria Mutagamba speaking on "Disasters with Cascading effects"at the IDRC Davos 2012

Honorable Maria Mutagamba served in various capacities in the Ugandan cabinet in Kampala. In 2000, President Museveni appointed her Minister of State for Water Resources, a position she held until 2006 when she was appointed Minister of Water and the Environment. She held that position until 2012. Thereafter she served as Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, until she retired in 2016.

She also served as Rakai district Woman Member of Parliament from 2001 to 2016 and was a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) and also the Chairperson of the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Program (LVEMP). Formerly she was the President of the African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW 2005 - 2007), the Minister of State for Water (November 2002 -2006) and the Chairperson of the Nile-Commission.

With Maria Mutagamba we are not only losing a beloved friend, but also a strong advocate for the preservation of the environment and sustainable development in Africa and around the globe.

In her role as Minister of Water and the Environment and later as Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities she was speaking at several of our International Disaster and Risk Conferences in Davos, Switzerland from 2006 to 2012 and has served as member of the international jury for the Risk Award promoted by Munich Re Foundation, UNISDR and GRF Davos.

Over the years, she has played a major role in mobilising national and international leaders around major challenges in the water and sanitation area, as well as tourism in Africa. Maria Mutagamba was fostering and advancing water initiatives such as Water for Humanity, Water for Production, Water for Eco system, and “WASH” – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. She has been a coordinator of the Global Women Leaders’ Initiative for WASH and has supervised the Water Sector Reforms in Uganda to the present admirable performance of the National Water Utility. Maria Mutagamba’s passion for water and environmental conservation earned her the nickname ‘Mama Water Africa’.

We will always remember Maria Mutagamba as a strong political mobiliser, hard worker and a great leader who was dedicated to the sustainable development of Africa and the whole globe. We will remember her with respect, admiration and affection.

Walter J. Ammann
President GRF Davos

Maria Mutagamba Red Chair Statement IDRC 2012: