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close this bookUganda's Water Sector Development: Towards Sustainable Systems (SKAT, 1996)
close this folder5. Implementation Strategies
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCreating an enabling environment
View the documentCreating the institutional framework
View the documentEstablishing the required management procedures and tools
View the documentGeneral strategies for domestic water supply

Creating the institutional framework

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 assured.
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.

Community structures

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.

Mediation structures

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.

Capacity building

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.

Institutional structure for water resource management