|Uganda's Water Sector Development: Towards Sustainable Systems (SKAT, 1996)|
|5. Implementation Strategies|
The Water Action Plan attempts to strike a balance between national and local ownership of the responsibility for carrying out the activities detailed in the plan. The organisational framework builds on existing reconstruction of the ministries. It anticipates the roll-out of reforms within district administrations. It recognises the strong participation of village-based RC committees and user groups in securing water supplies.
Water Policy Committee
The Government is in the process of establishing a Water Policy
Committee (WPC) in accordance with the provisions of the Water Statute. The
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources will be Chairman of the
WPC and the Directorate of Water Development will provide its Secretariat. The
WPC will interact with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) with
regard to environmental policies and effluent standards. The WPC will not be in
a position to take decisions binding on all member organisations, except where
specified in legislation. However, agreements reached at the Committee will be
at such a high level that formal decisions and implementation should be
The main functions of the WPC will be to:
- co-ordinate the formulation of national priorities for the use of water and related land resources;
- co-ordinate policy formulation regarding international water resources;
- co-ordinate the continued Water Action Plan process;
- review plans for major development projects that affect the protection and utilisation of water resources;
- resolve conflicts between government bodies regarding water resources that cannot be resolved at the district level.
Members of the WPC will represent government ministries and departments. They will be heads of relevant institutions and membership cannot be delegated. Other members will include representatives from district administrations, research organisations and NGOs.
Directorate of Water Development
In the future the DWD will function primarily at the national level regulating and supervising rather than implementing. District RCs, through the District Executive Secretaries, will employ district staff concerned with water supply services. The DWD will station some staff in district centres but these people will be employed on water resource monitoring rather than construction or maintenance activities.
Creating the Institutional Framework
- A Water Policy Committee (WPC) will provide the mechanism for
cross-sectoral policy decisions at the national level - as well as for policy
development in relation to the shared water resources of the Nile Basin.
- WPC will work in close collaboration with other policy making bodies, such as the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
- A WPC Secretariat will be established within the Directorate of Water Development.
- An integrated approach will be promoted by concerned government agencies and NGOs for the implementation of water development projects.
- An integrated approach to extension services will be developed.
- Water resources management functions will be delegated to the lowest appropriate levels - based on existing Resistance Council structures.
- River basin authorities will be established only in response to clear needs.
- Private sector involvement will be promoted.
- The participation of women will be enhanced.
- Capacities will be developed at the national, district and community levels - to plan and initiate soil and water conservation activities, to monitor the use of water resources, and to enforce regulations.
- Public awareness will be raised about the impacts of water quality on health.
Source: Uganda Water Action Plan
District committee and departmental structure
The District Development Committee and its sub-committee, the
Technical Planning Committee will assume overall planning and co-ordination of
rural water supply at the district level. The District Environment and Natural
Resources Committee (DENRC) will supervise technical staff in the implementation
of their tasks and recommend policies, priorities, by-laws and standards to be
adopted by the DRCs.
The DRC will determine membership of the DENRC. Members will include political and administrative personnel with relevant social, technical and economic skills.
Integrated extension approach
The Government has thrown its support behind an integrated approach to extension work. It requires districts to co-ordinate their extension staff in various departments so that they disseminate the same environment and water resources management information and guidelines. This is to ensure that the districts make maximum use of scarce resources and co-ordinate water and land management practices in an environmentally sound manner.
The village and sub-county water and sanitation committees are
linked to, and may be part of the Resistance Councils (RC1 to RC3). This close
coupling of overall decision-making to the needs of the water sector allows the
development of demand-driven community management of rural water supply.
The Government anticipates that women who already play an important role in the maintenance of water facilities will take higher profile roles in committees. It will encourage them to take greater overall management responsibility for water supply and sanitation.
Like the community structures mentioned above, the mediation and
judicial structures proposed by the Water Action Plan fit into the existing RC
framework. At the lowest level, the RC1, courts, chiefs and elders will settle
local water disputes. At a district level, the District Environment and Natural
Resources Committee (DENRC) will act as an administrative appeal board.
The District Development Committee (DDC) can resolve inter-departmental disputes. Alternatively, persons or organisations disagreeing with a decision of the DENRC can take a civil dispute to the Magistrates Court.
With all the change anticipated within the sector, the Government
sees a clear need for training, education and information activities at
national, district and community levels. It plans work on the following:
- orientation programmes to inform politicians, officials and public representatives about the Water Action Plan, new water resources legislation and structural changes;
- reorientation programmes for staff in DWD, other key sector ministries and district administrations to deepen awareness of water resources management issues and clarify new roles and responsibilities;
- curriculum development to integrate water resource management topics within the curricula of relevant training institutions;
- extension training to support workers with a responsibility for providing information and facilitating discussion about water resource issues;
- information dissemination on water resource management issues particularly to members of RCs and natural resource committees within local communities.