March 3, 2014: Uganda Works to Establish an Autonomous

KAMPALA– The U.S. Mission today announced the successful completion of the Uganda activity under the Sustainable Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA) Program, a six-year $40 million regional initiative financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

According to the 5th Water and Environment Sector Performance Report, access to improved water in Uganda reached only 70% of the urban population while urban sanitation access was at 82%.   To address these critical issues, SUWASA seeks to identify, promote and transfer good practices in urban water supply and sanitation reform and governance across Sub-Saharan Africa.

SUWASA was launched in September 2009 and is active in nine countries across Africa. The program’s ultimate goal is to improve and expand the delivery of water and sanitation services in urban and peri-urban settings in order to bring countries closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, while emphasizing a response to the particular needs of the urban poor.

In Uganda, the main objective of SUWASA was to support the Government of Uganda through the Directorate of Water Development (DWD) in designing the regulatory framework for the urban water sector. The program’s accomplishments cannot be understated and include articulating the rationale for the establishment of the regulator, defining the institutional framework of the regulatory body, developing a business and strategic plan for the regulatory agency and drafting the requisite legislation.

USAID/Uganda Mission Director Leslie Reed said, “Strengthening the regulatory function will provide important benefits to its people and to the sustainability of the sector. These benefits include a more predictable and transparent process for setting tariffs, consumer protection, a better ability to monitor and report on sector progress, and establishment of a sector framework that encourages participation from a variety of players.”

The project was implemented in close collaboration with the German Society for International Cooperation (GiZ), who will continue to support the Government of Uganda in the implementation.

USAID is also working directly with local governments in Northern Uganda to implement programs that have rehabilitated 190 boreholes and drilled 167 new ones. USAID assistance to the Kigezi Diocese Water and Sanitation Program has so far increased access to safe water to 92% of beneficiaries in three communities through construction of 555 water points serving a total of 2,078 households.

For additional information, please contact:
Peter Eriki, Information Assistant, U.S. Mission Uganda
Tel: +256-414-250-314×6104 Cell: +077222-14-12, 078484633