|Uganda's Water Sector Development: Towards Sustainable Systems (SKAT, 1996)|
|4. Establishing Sectoral Policies|
Development of a new framework for rural water supply and sanitation took place against a background of emerging national policies. During the last five years Uganda has investigated many of the most basic questions about its political, economic and social future. It has revisited its past, accepted the present and looked into the future. The emerging national policy framework for rural water supply fits into a wider framework for national development.
The new Constitution charges that the State shall control important natural resources including water on behalf of the people, and manage and utilise them for the development and welfare of the people. Also enshrined in the Constitution is the need for the State to ensure that it manages Uganda's natural resources in a "sustainable" manner. Important, basic statements regarding water appear in the Constitution:
"XIV General social and economic objectives
The State shall endeavour to fulfil the fundamental rights of all
Ugandans to social justice and economic development and shall, in particular,
(b) all Ugandans enjoy rights and opportunities and access to education, health services, clean and safe water, work, decent shelter, adequate clothing, food security, and pension and retirement benefits.
XXI Clean and safe water
The State shall take all practical measures to promote good water management systems at all levels.
XXVII The Environment
The State shall promote sustainable development and public
awareness of the need to manage land, air and water resources in a balanced and
sustainable manner for the present and future generations."
Republic of Uganda, 4th Constitution
The National Environment Management Policy, published in 1994 further elaborates these overall statements. Its overall policy goal of "sustainable social and economic development" rests within parameters of maintenance or enhancement of environmental quality and resource productivity on a long-term basis. It includes a key policy statement on water resource conservation and management, the objective being:
"to sustainably manage and develop the water resources in a
co-ordinated and integrated manner so as to provide water of acceptable quality
for all social and economic needs".
National Environment Management Policy
The National Environment Management Policy (1994) was followed up by enactment of the Environment Management Statute (1995).