|Uganda's Water Sector Development: Towards Sustainable Systems (SKAT, 1996)|
|5. Implementation Strategies|
The Government has set general strategies for provision and management of domestic water supply, sanitation and sewerage services as follows:
- The Government, on a national basis, will assess investment and development efforts in the water supply and sanitation sector using an equitable share principle. Decisions will take a rationalised view on urban versus rural interventions. The Government will select areas most in need of sector improvements based on need-related criteria.
- In line with Uganda's democratic decentralisation process, water supply and sanitation policies will be based on the principle that the central authority moves away from being a 'provider' of services to an 'enabler'. This means the creation of an appropriate framework of institutions, laws, regulations, as well as capacity building and awareness raising to foster a participatory approach to sector development.
- A negotiation-driven approach will be a key principle during planning and design of water supply and sanitation facilities. The Government will channel limited funds to the communities that will maintain their new or improved facilities sustainably. This approach will also expedite implementation by encouraging beneficiaries to choose systems that they can operate and maintain and to meet their scheduled commitments accordingly.
- Sector interventions will provide support to strengthen the capacity of water sector organisations within development projects. Support will include institutional and human resource development as well as support for the principle of community management. The Government will empower and equip rural communities, inclusive of small towns and growth centres, to own and control their water supply and sanitation systems.
- The Government will select appropriate low-cost water supply and sanitation technologies. This will offer good possibilities for community participation in decision making. It will allow them to take responsibility for physical implementation, including operation and maintenance of completed facilities, without compromising the role of water as a vital infrastructure for socio-economic development.
- The Government will select sources (surface water or groundwater) with due consideration to the implication of operating costs. It will always consider groundwater when risk of contaminated surface water exists which would necessitate water purification with associated higher capital and operational costs.
- The importance of gender is recognised. The Government will address gender issues in such a way that both sexes are involved as decision makers. It will empower women and enable them to determine their own development collectively with men (A specific gender policy paper has been finalised recently).
- The Government will ensure sustainability of projects through cost recovery at a level where it recovers at least the cost of operation and maintenance from the users in rural areas. It will recover as much of the capital costs in the larger piped schemes, in addition to operation and maintenance costs.
- The Government will ensure the financial viability of public utilities. Tariff structures, with cross-subsidies where appropriate, will ensure that services can be reliably maintained, including public standposts or other facilities for the poor.
- Co-operation within the sector is important. The Government will establish mechanisms at relevant levels within the administrative system to foster country-level collaboration among stakeholders active in the sector. Tools to be used to achieve this will include Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC) meetings for the rural water sector, Water Policy Committee (WPC) meetings for the entire water resources sector and Letter of Understanding (LOU) to guide and monitor the operation of NGOs within the water sector.
- The Government's commitment to the privatisation process in many spheres of the national development efforts also includes various aspects of the water and sanitation sector. Hence, it will establish mechanisms to facilitate participation of the private sector in the construction and actual provision of services either as individuals or groups and associations.
- The Government will support community-based operation and maintenance. It will organise access to spare parts, if not readily available on the market, and provide access to reliable technical support for major breakdowns. It will place emphasis on supporting private sector initiatives to meet these needs.
- The Government will place emphasis on the importance of linking low-cost sanitation with the provision of new water supplies, and accompanying both with appropriate health and hygiene education. Schools will be important vehicles for disseminating the key health messages. Projects will, wherever appropriate, include construction of latrines in schools, and the provision of educational materials.
- The Government will protect public utilities against vandalism, personalisation and unlawful take-overs.
The strategies outlined above are still under further development. Over time the Government will supplement these general strategies with more detailed strategies covering specific issues like technology, health and hygiene, economic and financial, management and institutional, private sector involvement, operation and maintenance, and aspects related to sustainability of services.12