A legal analysis of the Right to Water in Uganda
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This study examines the domestic implementation of the right to water in Uganda. In this respect, the researcher set about on establishing and investigating: the international, regional and domestic legal framework on the right to water; the underlying pertinent theoretical perspectives of what is meant by the right to water; the challenges hindering the effective implementation of the right to water in Uganda and; advancing proposals and practical solutions to ensure equality and change. The study adopted the snowball sampling procedure in selecting some of the respondents on the basis of the infrequent characteristics they possess to play a part in this study. With such a sampling method it is unlikely that existing study subjects will conscript future subjects from among their compatriots. Purposive sampling technique was also adopted in selecting some respondents due to their discerned knowledge in relation to the problem under inquiry. The study population comprised of residents of Kinawataka (20) and key informants e.g., water rights activists and National Water and Sewerage Corporation employees (7). Primary data was collected using an interview guide to conduct in-depth interrogations whereas secondary data was collected through review of relevant records in the libraries and the internet. Paramount confidentiality was observed while handling the data collected. A descriptive and qualification method of data analysis was used. However, the findings of the study reveal that Ugandans are yet to fully realise the right to water. Thus, there is a contradiction between Uganda’s international obligations and the domestic implementation of the right to water. This study has identified some challenges which have imposed some restrictions or hurdles on the domestic implementation of the right to water, namely: long distance to water sources; prohibitive costs; vandalism of water infrastructure; water contamination; malfunction and breakdown of water infrastructure and inadequate water storage facilities. Considering the above-mentioned challenges to the full realisation of the right to water in Uganda, this study has advanced some proposals and solutions aimed at stimulating reform. The recommendations include: Amendment of the constitution to expressly provide for the right to water; public interest litigation to correct the water related injustices; regular testing of water sources to curb contamination; publicity and awareness of the need to promote water safety; prioritisation of water and sanitation programmes; reduction of water costs; amendment of the Water Act to keep up with the current water needs and challenges; reactivation water user groups or water and sanitation committees especially in low income urban areas; corporate governance and coordination between water service providers and local authorities and; promoting access to water related information.