|Uganda's Water Sector Development: Towards Sustainable Systems (SKAT, 1996)|
|6. Moving Forward in the Rural Water Sector|
The large-scale RUWASA project provides some good examples of the lessons learned to date. Over a period of five years it has constructed or rehabilitated two thousand five hundred water sources and met the basic water supply needs of six hundred thousand people. It has almost doubled water supply coverage from a base of 10 to 15 per cent. By the middle of 1995, coverage varied between 45 and 53 per cent in three of the eight RUWASA districts. In the other five districts the project had achieved 20 per cent coverage. Unforeseen problems on RUWASA included:
- over-estimation of the potential from protected springs and
shallow wells only 40 per cent of identified sites could be adequately
- high cost and low water quality from hand-dug wells driving up the average cost of supply;
- high incidence of corrosive water conditions throughout the project area the project found it necessary to install stainless steel (rather than galvanised iron) rising mains;
- the WHO drinking water quality guidelines proved too stringent over 50 per cent of shallow wells and springs did not qualify.
Hence, the original RUWASA project target of 70 per cent coverage was not met. However, this and other DWD projects have provided a firm foundation for all future rural water supply and sanitation projects. Within the RUWASA project, the DWD was able to create much of its implementation 'software' that now includes workmanship standards, installation guides, training packages and monitoring systems. Notwithstanding the problems identified above, the RUWASA project will be followed by RUWASA II, a second phase that will build on the success of, and incorporate lessons learned from the first phase. In particular, the centralised project planning and management structure will be re-designed to be based on district management units.