Uneven geographical distribution, coupled with pressures from rapid population growth, increased urbanization, industrialization and environmental degradation, is a big challenge to the sustainable development of Uganda’s freshwater resources. However, the policy and institutional framework has advanced over the past two decades in Uganda. The policy and legal reform process started with the introduction of the Water Act (1995) and the Uganda Water Action Plan (1995). Other key policies included the National Water Policy (1999) and the Local Government Act (1997, 2000). A key Lesson learnt is that political support matters in achieving success, as does the nature and logic of the political system. In Uganda, political prioritization of water and poverty was central to progress. The depth and longevity of sector reform relies on political support, which can ebb and flow.
Although the West African Sub-region is well advanced in IWRM, some countries still need more support. A strategy was developed to help countries that had formally requested IWRM planning assistance. The lesson learnt is that participatory processes take much longer than non-participatory ones, nonetheless, they are still favourable since they provide a platform for discussion and a place to exchange ideas.
IWRM is a possible solution to Zambia’s many issues in regards to its water resources. Action has been taken to implement the Partnership for African Water Development Project, aiming to facilitate the country in preparation of IWRM. It establishes stronger regional partnerships to create effective multi-stakeholder platforms, as well as stronger ties for collaboration between various stakeholders and institutions. This case study clearly illustrates the importance of ensuring participation by key actors.
A previous lack of clearly defined roles and jurisdictional responsibilities within the water sector led Zambia’s government to take action and establish the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council, which is presently responsible for the main water policy principles. From this case, it can be concluded that any reform process is inherently political, and requires the full commitment of its policy makers to correctly balance financial and political objectives.
Following the reorganisation of the water sector in Zambia, an action that decentralised service provision, it became crucial to monitor the service providers and the consumer experience. Action was taken to set up Water Watch Groups that have as their responsibility to raise public awareness about rights and obligations. This case study, concludes that consumer involvement is the key to the success of water sector reforms.
Kafue Flats are the vast open floodplain of the Kafue River, important for fishing, cattle grazing, sugar cane farming, and production of hydroelectric power. Increased human pressure is, however, threatening the ecosystem. Action was taken by WWF to create partnerships between different stakeholders. Furthermore, an IWRM plan has been initiated. This case illustrates how integrated planning can bring together stakeholders with diverse interests.