UWEWK 2020 will explore the role water and environment resources will be play in the achievement of the National Development Plan (NDP) III goal and targets. It will assess the centrality of water and environment resources in increasing household incomes, improved quality of life of the population and achievement of “Sustainable Industrialization for Inclusive-growth, Employment and Wealth Creation”.
The National Development Plan (NDP) aims at guiding the country to deliver the aspirations of the people of Uganda, as articulated in Uganda Vision 2040. Uganda vision 2040 aims to transform Ugandan society from a peasant-based populace to a modern and prosperous society by 2040. The key goal of NDP 3 is to increase the average Ugandan households’ incomes and equally improve the quality of life of the citizens. The catalyst for this is through industrialization. Successful industrialization and diversification of the economy will trigger the movement of labour from low-paid agriculture to relatively better paid industrial employment.
During implementation of NDP 3, government will pursue an export-oriented strategy by increasing the value and share of manufactured goods in total exports. Secondly, government will promote an expansion and diversification of local manufacturing activity, through both public and private sector investment in industry, to ensure that some of the imported goods that can be produced locally are produced locally. To ensure that the industrialization process is both sustainable and beneficial to its citizens, government will work closely with the private sector. As part of NDP 3, alongside its focus on Industrialization, government will further strategically invest in critical national infrastructure projects to lower production costs, enhance international competitiveness and facilitate the sustainable exploitation of developmental opportunities in agriculture, tourism, minerals, and oil/gas. In particular, investments in petroleum development, as well as in the country’s energy supply and transport infrastructure will help stimulate greater private investment, encourage agricultural production, and support Uganda’s nascent light manufacturing sector.
Thus, considering that water and environment resources are at the core of sustainable development and are critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and for human survival these resources will be critical in the achievement of the NDP3 targets. Water supports life and social economic activities such as hydropower generation, agriculture, fisheries, domestic water supply, industry, navigation, tourism, and ecosystems. Water is also required as an indispensable input into agro-industrialization. It must, therefore, be available in adequate quantities and corresponding quality at the right time and right place in order to contribute to increased household incomes and improved quality of life of the population. Ensuring water security through sustainable utilization and efficient management of Uganda’s water and environment resources will be key in ascertaining that the various sectors in the economy achieve their socio-economic development objectives.
Uganda’s economy will continue to depend on the available stock of water, environmental and natural resources to produce goods and deliver services. Industrialization highly relies on raw materials from the environment and natural resources. Increasing forest cover is vital for maintain water flows for hydropower generation, agriculture, fisheries, domestic water supply, industry, navigation, tourism, wildlife and ecosystems. Proper wetland management is critical for mitigating flood risks, marine ecosystem maintenance, maintaining water quality and quantity of water resources. Preserving water resources, environment and natural resources is critical for human health and tourism. In addition, mitigating the climate change orchestrated impact of droughts, floods, heat waves and landslides on the livelihood of vulnerable populations is critical for reducing income inequality, improving livelihoods and ensuring energy, water, food and ecosystem security.