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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

Institutional requirements

At the end of the 1980s the MWMD was in poor shape. Its staff were inadequately remunerated, poorly motivated and lacking in enthusiasm. Absorptive capacity of the MWMD was low, in both planning and implementation activities. The situation was particularly acute in areas such as the rural water supply sector where years of neglect had caused a backlog of maintenance and rehabilitation. The capacity of the Water Development Department to plan for and implement rural water supply schemes was seen as a major bottle-neck.

The need to rebuild the country's institutional capacity became a priority issue, not only with the Government, but also with the major supporting agencies. In a move that earned the Government the respect of its most ardent critics, it took on the challenges laid down before it. In less than ten years it has radically altered the shape of the civil service, slimmed down existing structures and embraced private sector involvement. As part of the ministerial restructuring process the responsibility for water sector activities was handed over to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) which established a Directorate for Water Development (DWD) to oversee water resources and water supply activities. Despite continuing constraints, the DWD has embarked on a major programme of rehabilitation and development of the rural water supply infrastructure. The results of the DWD's work are beginning to show through — a doubling of the rural water coverage in under five years. The story of how it was done and what is likely to happen next continues in the following chapters.


Uganda: Annual rainfall pattern


Uganda: Principal ecological zones, Population density


Uganda: Organisation of the ministry of natural resources, including directorate of water development