By Agnes Nantambi
Water and sanitation providers have been tasked to adhere to national standards, policies and objectives during the provision of services.
The actors have also been warned against duplication of roles.
Speaking during the launch of the revised district implementation Manual (DIM), a key document that sets standards and guidelines for all stakeholders involved in the provision of water and sanitation services at district and sub county level at Serena Hotel,
Betty Bigombe, the state minister for water and environment, observed that the key challenges facing the water and sanitation sector is lack of coordination among stake holders.
This she said had contributed to unnecessary competition and lack of synergy and eventually wastage of resources and time.
“The lack of relevant and up to date guidelines can cause a lot of confusion especially when implementing the WASH programmes and projects.
Although some interventions are driven by the donor agenda and others by political ambitions, harmonisation and coordination requires all actors to recognise and adhere to common principles and approaches when supporting water and sanitation services,” she explained.
She added that uncoordinated approaches led to fragmented strategies that result in inefficient use of resources, duplication of roles and a lack of alignment with government policies.
She explained that her ministry had been working towards the harmonisation since 2001 which is important for all actors to harmonise their approaches and align them to national development objectives and targets.
The district implementation manual, first produced in 2007 is expected to add to the ongoing efforts towards harmonisation, alignment and increased efficiency. It lays out standards that should be followed when implementing water and sanitation projects.
“If all actors adhere to the district implementation manual, Ugandans can expect similar standards of water and sanitation services across all districts. It will minimise the disparities that currently exist and the variations in services from districts to districts” she said.
Eng. Aaron Kabirizi, the director of the Directorate of Water Development (DWD) said, the water and environment sector is very dynamic and very particular in living and growing and the ministry of water which is the lead agency will always ensure that all developments in the sub sector are well guided and are aligned to the national development strategies and objectives.
“The revised DIM launched today is contributing to the never ending efforts to improve harmonisation and alignment to government policies, strategies and objectives,” he said.
Jane Nabunya Mulumba the IRC/Triple –S country director who represented the civil society organisations dealing in water and sanitation provision, said the revised DIM is very timely since we are approaching the end of the 2015 millennium development goals where new goals shall need to be set.
“We want all services in water and sanitation provision to be recognised such that as we set the new goals we shall be able to know where to refocus our strength,” she emphasised.
Pious Mugabi the district water officer, Kabalore, said the revised manual will simplify their work at the district and sub-county level.