The provision of water to households has traditionally been the responsibility of governments. This responsibility is increasingly being transferred to the private sector. In developing countries, this presents a challenge to identify what and who is the private sector, whether it exists and whether it has the capacity to deliver this most basic of needs. The economic market, through which this social need is to be supplied by the private sector, is less likely to exist in rural areas of developing countries. This provokes questions as to the capacity of a range of stakeholders to implement policy on a national and coordinated basis and thereby achieve equity of development. br>A case study from Uganda is presented to emphasise the technical and social aspects of rural water supply if sustainable water supplies are to be achieved through the private scetor. Three themes were shown to highlight the complexity of such policy development: rhetoric versus reality of policy; capacity for its implementation and the impact of macro policy on the local reality. It was determined that the opportunities, alluded to in government rhetoric, were not realised in reality due to the poor status of national capacity to turn policy into practice. It was shown that cultural influences affect the response of government and society to policies adopted from the west which are regarded as models for development. It was concluded that private sector development in Uganda is limited due constraints at thc macro level whilst rural community capacity is also insufficient to respond to government policy.
Littlefair, K. The role of the private sector in the provision of rural water supplies: an insight into Uganda. (2000) 56 pp. [MSc thesis, Cranfield University at Silsoe]