Photo: Honourable Speaker, Madame Dr. Rebecca Kadaga (L), Viktoria Mohos Naray (c), and Rose Osinde Alabaster (R) at the Inter-Parliamentary Union 135th General Assembly, 2016, Geneva. (Photo, courtesy of the Delegation of Uganda to the IPU).
During the 135th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, WaterLex held a meeting with the Uganda Delegation of Parliamentarians. The Head of the Uganda Delegation of Parliamentarians, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga (the House Speaker and MP, Kamuli District) was accompanied by Hon. Raphael Magyezi (Igara West), Hon. Latif Sebaggala (Kawempe North) and Hon. Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju). WaterLex was represented by Amanda Loeffen, (Director General, WaterLex); Viktoria Mohos Naray (Senior Legal Advisor); and Rose Osinde Alabaster (Programme Director, Africa Region).
WaterLex shared the 2015 Uganda Country Mapping report with the Parliamentarians. This is our 2015 comprehensive legal and policy assessment on the status of implementation and monitoring of the human rights to water and sanitation in Uganda (see full report here). This WaterLex research publication provides an extensive review of the HRWS situation in Uganda. In Uganda, both the Water Act and the Water Policy are under review currently. The WaterLex study provides support for increased alignment of the legal framework, key sector policy frameworks, implementation and monitoring strategies, with the existing human rights commitments of the Government of Uganda, via concrete recommendations in a form of a national action plan.
Dr. Kadaga emphasised the importance of water as a topic in Parliament and that it needs more attention and a collaborative approach with stakeholders like water operators and local authorities in order to implement and monitor access to water and sanitation in Uganda. She noted that capacity building should be broad and include stakeholders that interface with parliamentary committees in order to be relevant and effective. The WaterLex team briefed the Uganda Delegation on the WaterLex Parliamentarian programme, a programme that assists and empowers Parliamentarians to take legislative action for the progressive realisation of the human rights to water and sanitation. Such engagement with Parliamentarians is undertaken at country, regional and global (IPU) levels and is currently placing emphasis on enhancing understanding of the needed legal, policy, institutional and regulatory frameworks to secure SDG 6 and related development goals.
In addition, the meeting covered the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the dedicated goal on water and sanitation (SDG 6). The SDGs present a crucial momentum to take action in ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Parliamentarians have a key role to play in enabling country level actions and programmes that contribute to the realisation of the water and sanitation-related SDG. In particular, Parliamentarians may significantly contribute to this process via: 1) adopting domestic enabling laws; 2) ensuring the appropriate budget; 3) holding the government account for the implementation and monitoring the water and sanitation-related Sustainable Development Goal. It is imperative that the Parliamentarians are empowered with the right tools to be able to shape domestic legal frameworks and to take on a fundamental role in ensuring the availability and the sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
This meeting further allowed WaterLex to directly acknowledge and congratulate the Rt. Hon. Kadaga in her new role as the President of the African Geopolitical Group at the Inter-Parliamentary Union. As the leader of all African Parliaments that are members of the IPU, Dr. Kadaga will coordinate pertinent and emergency matters on the African Continent.
For more information:
The 2015 Uganda Country Mapping of WaterLex: “The Status of Implementation and Monitoring of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in Uganda”
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WaterLex is an international public interest development organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is a UN-Water Partner with UN ECOSOC special consultative status. Its mission is to develop sustainable solutions based on human rights to improve water governance worldwide, particularly in regard to consistent water law and policy frameworks, with the Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG 6, water for all) in mind. It is an official member of the Global Water Partnership, UNDP Cap-Net, UNDP Global Water Solidarity, UNEP Global Wastewater Initiative, and Swiss Water Partnership.