District local government's capacity and implementation of environment protection policy under decentralization in Uganda : a case study of Nakasongola District
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This study using documentary evidence, and Nakasongola District as a case study, set out to assess District Local Governments' (DLG) capacity and implementation of Environment Protection Policy (EPP) under Decentralization in Uganda. Specifically the study attempted to; locate the relationship between local government capacity and implementation of EPP; establish the role of DLGs in the implementation of EPP; and assess the capacity of Nakasongola District Local government in implementing EPP. The study established that there is a direct correlation between District Local Government (DLG) Capacity and implementation of Environment Protection Policy (EPP) in Uganda. Financially, the study found out that the district is underfunded and thus unsustainable as it collects less than 5% of the local revenue meaning it depends on either the central government for grants or the development partners to support EPP project implementation to the tune of over 95%. On the human resources capacity, the study found out that as a result of a number of factors, Nakasongola DLG has not been able to attract and/or retain critical staff. On institutional capacity, the district has the legislative, executive and judicial powers . On the role of DLGs, the study found out that Nakasongola DLG like all the other LGs in Uganda had substantial powers devolved and delegated to them by the legal framework in Uganda. The study found out that Nakasongola DLG has legislative, decision making as well as arbitration/sanctioning powers notwithstanding the ambiguity and duplication of some roles among the different officers in the district. In view of these findings, the study concludes that the DLGs in general and Nakasongola district in particular are yet to benefit from the decentralization reform agenda thus we would hesitate to qualify the contribution of decentralization in building the capacity of DLGs in implementing the EPP in Uganda. Notwithstanding its limitations, this study underscored the efficacy of Local Governments' capacity research in Uganda in general and EPP in particular. This study therefore aimed at provoking further debate on the subject and fill the gap in the literature. The objective is to increase understanding of EPP implementation under a decentralized system, thus contribute to knowledge in theory and practice. The study therefore recommends among others to; streamline roles among district officials; increase minimum qualifications for members of the District Council; and build the capacity of LGs to raise local revenue.