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close this bookUganda's Water Sector Development: Towards Sustainable Systems (SKAT, 1996)
close this folder3. Driving Forces
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe physical environment
View the documentState of existing infrastructure
View the documentPressing financial shortages
View the documentNeed for legislative reforms
View the documentInstitutional requirements

State of existing infrastructure

Close to 90 per cent of Uganda's twenty million people live in the rural areas. The years of neglect took a massive toll on the rural water supply infrastructure. A survey carried out 1981 indicated that more than three quarters of all handpumps in Uganda were inoperable. Despite efforts to strengthen the established construction and maintenance systems during the 5 year Rehabilitation Programme (RP) from 1982 to 1987, most of the field units functioned unsatisfactorily or not at all 8

According to Government estimates, from 1970 to 1989 it channelled some US$ 193 million in external funding into the water sector. However, less than thirty per cent found its way to rural projects — much of this US$ 55 million was mis-allocated. It is not surprising, therefore, that the water supply situation in the late 1980s was one of collapsed systems, inadequate supply of spare parts and little forward progress on rehabilitation. Most of the rural population simply fended for itself.