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Financing WASH SGD Goal targets in Uganda-Lessons from the National Learning Forum

posted 31 Dec 2015, 00:50 by RCN Uganda   [ updated 31 Dec 2015, 00:51 ]

With the launch of the sustainable development goals, different approaches have been put in place to attain full WASH coverage for all worldwide. These have been geared towards ensuring that every Ugandan has access to improved WASH by 2030 in line with the Vision 2040 and the second National Development Plan. This thus means that government and all stakeholders have to do twice as much to ensure that every Ugandan is reached. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, which included water and sanitation within a broader sustainability goal, the new post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals formalized by the UN in September 2015 have a new stand-alone goal to be achieved by 2030:

The financial cost of achieving SDG6 is quite high. The 2014 Global Annual Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) survey found that 80% of countries reported that current levels of financing are insufficient to meet targets for drinking water and sanitation. However the benefits of investing in water and sanitation are significant: According to a budget tracking survey by IRC Uganda, it was noted that the proportion of the national budget allocated to the sector declined from 5.6% in 2008 to 2.8% in 2013. While the allocation in absolute terms increased from UGX193 billion (US$64 million) to UGX308 billion (US$103 million), there was increasing concern among sector stakeholders that the increment is not in sync with the population growth estimated at 3% per annum. One of the most affected areas is the recurrent costs of operation and maintenance for rural water supply facilities.

In this context of this, the Network for Water and Sanitation (NETWAS) with support from the ICCO, a member of the Uganda WASH Alliance convened a half day learning forum on financing the ambitious sustainable development goals.

What has been the trend in financing the outgoing MDGs?

Aid has had a Key role in financing improved access to Water and Sanitation Supply. From 2003-2013, the global aid to WSS increased from US$2.6 to US$6.6. But more recent years show a reverse in this tendency with aid growth falling behind the overall pace by 10.7%.

Financing MDGs to SDGs

According to a UN 2014 survey of 94 developing countries: 80% had insufficient financing for MDG targets for WSS. This hence means that WSS financing should be improved following unmet MDG targets. From Historical figures, External financing from aid donors has a vital role to play to support countries' progress to universal access, particularly for countries with low levels of domestic revenue.

Aid to WSS is increasingly delivered as concessional loans

       2003 -2013, aid loans to WSS increased US$1.1 bn to US$3.3 bn in 2013 ( 205%), compared with a 123% increase for grants.

       In 2013, 50.2% of aid to WSS sector came as loans. The health sector receives only 6% of aid as loans, and the education sector receives 14%.

       Within the WSS sector, aid loans go mainly to large system projects: 64% between 2011 and 2013 large of all aid loans.

Most aid in the sector goes to water projects

Since 2010 -2013; a total of US$1.9 billion, aid to water received two thirds (65%). A large share went to large water systems (43%), while basic water received just over a fifth (22%) aid to sanitation represented just a third of aid to the sector that can be disaggregated (35%). Basic sanitation received the least at 7%, while aid to large sanitation systems was 28%. Given that the MDG sanitation target was not met, accelerating investments in sanitation are required.

So what needs to be done in order to achieve the SDGs?

Continuously improve efficiency & effectiveness

       Regular auditing of utilities managing public assets

       Monitor functionality of bulk water meters, and introduce sanctions for non-functionality

       Introduce water metering in rural areas including pre-paid meters

Market Institutions for Scaling the Private Sector

          Private sector can bring scale, efficiency, innovation and sustainability

          Effective private sector work requires a broader focus on markets, including demand creation and support for effective public institutions - Regulation

Improve credit schemes offered by Umbrella Organizations to finance emergency repairs as well as scheme improvements/extensions

Improve management of CAPEX buffer and offer saving schemes (10% set aside for major repairs)

Promote introduction of billing software and non-cash payment

Regular auditing of utilities managing public assets

Monitor functionality of bulk water meters, and introduce sanctions for non-functionality

Introduce water metering in rural areas including pre-paid meters

 Government wide approach to sector reform

          Partnerships with other sectors critical to achieving universal access

          Other ministries provide additional entry points for reform

          Bottom-up reform through local governments can provide a demonstration effect

Due attention to Sanitation and Integrated Water Resources Management

          Allocate adequate resources to the subsectors.