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Southern Sudan water policy approved by stakeholders

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By Isaac Vuni

August 9, 2007 (JUBA) —Southern Sudan stakeholders have, yesterday approved in principle with amendments the water policy of the government of Southern Sudan.

Minister Jakok says after incorporation of the stated amendment by the task force, the water policy document will be forwarded to GoSS ministry of Legal affair and constitutional development for translating it into legal formats there after he minister will submit it to southern Sudan Council of Ministers by the end of August 2007.

Speaking at the closing session of the two days workshop on water policy for Southern Sudan, the jubilant minister said it took his team two years to come out with now GoSS water policy document. He thanked all the UN agencies and participants for critically analyzing and adopting the documents that will soon be enact into law by southern Sudan lawmakers.

The draft water policy presented by minister for Water Resources and Irrigation, Mr. Jakok, was thoroughly discussed in small groups and plenary then it was approved in principle with minor amendments and below is summary recommendations of the workshop:

- The guiding principles for Rural Water Supply and sanitation are spelled as follows:

Access to sufficient water of acceptable quality to satisfy basic needs is considered a human right and shall be accorded highest priority in water resources development.

Sanitation and hygiene education shall be actively promoted in order to maximize the social and economic benefits of rural water supply development.

Investment in Rural Water Supply and sanitation shall be targeted firstly to those areas which are currently unsaved or experiencing acute water shortage.

Selection of technologies appropriate for the delivery of Rural Water Supply and sanitation services shall be guided by criteria on social, equity, economic efficiency, system reliability and environmental sustainability.

Rural communities shall be supported to take an active role in planning, management and financing Rural Water Supply and sanitation schemes on a sustainable basis.

Involvement of private sector and NGOs in the delivery of goods and services shall be actively encouraged and supported wherever appropriate.

- The specific objectives for Rural Water Supply and sanitation are out:

To provide adequate, affordable and sustainable safe water supply services to the rural population on an equitable basis and to contribute to the survival and development of children.

To actively promote sanitation and hygiene education alongside water supply.

To establish effective structures to manage delivery of rural water supply and sanitation services at the lowest appropriate administrative levels.

- Guiding principles for Urban Water supply and sanitation states that:

Urban populations in southern Sudan have a basic right to enjoy access to safe, affordable and reliable water supply and sanitation facilities.

Improving sanitation and sewerage facilities is considered one of the highest priorities in pre-urban and urban areas.

Investment in Urban Water supply and sanitation shall be targeted to those areas which are currently unsaved and where need is greatest.

Planning and development of piped water supply and waste disposal infrastructures shall be carried out in an integrated manner.

The regulatory and delivery functions for Urban Water supply and sanitation services shall be carried out by separate institutions.

Responsibility for regulation, delivery and management of Urban Water supply and sanitation services shall be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level, in accordance with the principle of subsidiary.

Efficient management practices shall be required so as to ensure the operational sustainability of Urban Water supply and sanitation systems.

Involvement of private sector in the management and development of Urban Water supply and sanitation services shall be encouraged where appropriate.

The regulatory framework shall be designed to promote effective development of Urban Water supply and sanitation services combined with transparent and accountability operations.

- Urban Water supply and sanitation specific objectives are:

To provide safe, affordable and reliable Urban Water supply and sanitation service to the urban population on an equitable basis including poor and vulnerable groups.

To promote an integrated approach to planning the development of piped water supplies and waste water disposal infrastructures.

To develop an effective institutional framework which clearly separates functions relating to regulation and delivery of Urban Water supply and sanitation services?

To establish effective decentralized structures for managing delivery of Urban Water supply and sanitation services so as to combine efficiency and accountability.

To promote active involvement of private sector in the development and management of Urban Water supply and sanitation services where appropriate.

To improve financial sustainability of Urban Water supply and sanitation systems through the introduction of efficient management practices and effective revenue generation mechanisms

To promote the technical and management training of staff working at all levels in Urban Water supply and sanitation services so as to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of institutions.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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