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Water Sector in Uganda

Current state
Uganda has witnessed remarkable improvements in water Sector as one of the priority sectors in Uganda, as it directly impacts on the quality of life of the people and overall productivity of the population. The sector grew by 3.7% in 2011 and in 2012 the growth is at 43%.

In Uganda the water supply sources include protected springs, shallow wells, deep boreholes, gravity flow schemes, surface water and ground water pumped schemes and rainwater.

Government is committed to the provision of safe water within easy reach and to improve sanitation as provided for in the National Development Plan.

The government plans to undertake strategic interventions with the following objectives

  • Increasing access to safe water supply in rural areas from 63% to 77% by 2015.
  • Increasing access to safe water supply in urban areas from 60% to 100% by 2015.
  • Increasing access to sanitation from 70% to 77% by 2015 and improving efficiency and effectiveness in water service delivery.

Regulatory Framework in Water Sector

Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE)
MWE is responsible for setting national policies and standards, managing and regulating water resources and determining priorities for water development and management. It also monitors and evaluates water sector development programmes to keep track of their performance, efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery.

MWE has three directories

  • Directorate of Water Resources Management (DWRM)
  • Directorate of Water Development (DWD)
  • Directorate of Environmental Affairs (DEA)

Directorate of Water Resources Management (DWRM)
DWRM is responsible for developing and maintaining national water laws, policies and regulations; managing, monitoring and regulation of water resources through issuing water use, abstraction and wastewater discharge permits; Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) activities, coordinating Uganda’s participation in joint management of transboundary waters resources and peaceful cooperation with Nile Basin riparian countries.

Directorate of Water Development (DWD)
DWD is responsible for providing overall technical oversight for the planning, implementation and supervision of the delivery of urban and rural water and sanitation services across the country, including water for production. DWD is responsible for regulation of provision of water supply and sanitation and the provision of capacity development and other support services to Local Governments, Private Operators and other service providers.

Directorate of Environmental Affairs (DEA)
DEA is responsible for environmental policy, regulation, coordination, inspection, supervision and monitoring of the environment and natural resources as well as the restoration of degraded ecosystems and mitigating and adapting to climate change

National Water Policy (1999)
The National Water Policy (NWP) was adopted in 1999 and it provides the overall policy framework for the water sector. The policy also emphasizes the recognition of water as being both a social and economic good, whose allocation should give first priority to domestic use.

Legal Framework
The current institutional sector framework is based on several policy reforms in the water sector since the mid-1990s. The current water sector framework was introduced with the 1995 Water Statute, which has the following objectives;

  • Promotion of rational water use and management.
  • Promotion of the provision of a clean, safe, and sufficient domestic water supply to all people.
  • Promotion of the orderly development of water and its use for other purposes, such as irrigation and industrial use, among others, in ways that minimize harmful effects to the environment.
  • Pollution control and promotion of safe storage, treatment, discharge, and disposal of waste that may cause water pollution or other threats to the environment and human health.

The Statute provides the legal framework for the use, protection and management of water resources and water supply.

Government Goals in the Water Sector
Government allocated UGX 355 million for the water and environmental sector for the financial year 2012/13. Government has improved accessibility to safe water by 69% in urban areas and 64% in rural areas. The Government of Uganda’s goal for the water sector includes;

  • Promoting coordinated, Integrated and Sustainable water resources management
  • Providing sustainable safe water supplies and sanitation.
  • Promoting the development of the water supply for modernizing agricultural production.

Water sector in Uganda has been summarised to include the following

Water Sector Regulatory Framework in Uganda

Challenges and investment opportunities in water sector

Water Bottling Companies in Uganda

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC)

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