Published on: 17/02/2016
Both civil society and the private sector welcome the creation of the new Division.
Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Water and Environment has created a new Division in charge of Infrastructure Operation and Maintenance. The IOM Division, under the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department (RWSSD) will mainly address the key issues surrounding operation, maintenance and functionality of rural water supply facilities.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and private sector actors in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector have welcomed the creation of a new Division in charge of Infrastructure Operation and Maintenance (IOM).
The new Division was created by the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) as part of ongoing efforts to improve the functionality and sustainability of rural water services. Since 2011, different sector actors have been calling for the creation of a unit in charge of O&M, and this came to fruition in 2016.
The pioneer head of the IOM Division, Eng. Ahmed Sentumbwe will hit the ground running, seeing from the wide range of challenges currently affecting O&M of water supply facilities in Uganda. Whereas the functionality rate has improved from 83% in 2011 to 88% in 2015, many challenges are yet to be resolved. These include:
In a February 15th national dialogue on O&M, organised by UWASNET and IRC Uganda, CSO and Private Sector representatives expressed readiness to work with Eng. Sentumbwe and the whole IOM Division. They said that they see the division as adding value in various ways including:
The CSOs also proposed ways in which they could strengthen their working relations with the IOM division, in order to move together towards the attainment of universal access to safe WASH services. The specifically made suggestions to:
The CSOs also identified what they considered the most critical issues for the IOM Division to tackle immediately. These include: