|Uganda's Water Sector Development: Towards Sustainable Systems (SKAT, 1996)|
|4. Establishing Sectoral Policies|
Once the NRM Government had stabilised internal security, it showed that it was both willing and able to embrace the changes necessary to rebuild Uganda. Work started in earnest to re-establish the Government's policy planning mechanisms. At the national level, the Ministry of Finance was duplicating macro-economic activities undertaken by the Ministry of Economic Planning. Therefore, the two organisations merged to form the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MFEP). Assisted by advisors from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank (WB), MFEP staff have played an instrumental role in policy reform, both as innovators of reforms and co-ordinators of inputs.
Within the water sector, MWMD, assisted by the Nairobi-based UNDP/World Bank Regional Water and Sanitation Group (RWSG), undertook initial surveys. The RWSG completed a joint report with the MWMD in March 1989. It identified that several ministries and agencies, none of them adequately funded, were responsible for water supply and sanitation services. It highlighted that "the (reported) service levels do not reflect the actual situation since most systems are inadequately operated and maintained and most of them are out of service".9 . The report called for the establishment of a strong national policy direction and co-ordination of development to ensure equitable treatment of the whole population. It further recommended:
- development and strengthening of water sector
- gradual introduction of cost recovery procedures;
- acceleration of sector decentralisation and promotion of community participation;
- adjustment of service levels and technologies to the issue of affordability;
- standardisation of equipment and promotion of local production.
The scene was set. Rural water supply developments would be targeted at a broad cross-section of society, especially those underprivileged at the present time. However, the communities would have to share in the costs both of implementation and of maintenance. They, along with the Government, would take responsibility for the sustainable operation of any future schemes.