More than 45 years of experience

Water sector reform

Project details
Water & Sanitation
Project volume: 
1,798,916 €
Value of services: 
1,798,916 €
Start of project: 
December, 2003
End of project: 
August, 2008
Project background: 

The legal, institutional and technical foundations of a national water sector policy and a sustainable management of the water resources were not in place at the beginning of the project. As a result, the scarce resources were being overexploited or polluted in many places and only part of the population, industry and irrigation agronomy had access to water in sufficient quality and quantity.

Project description: 

The project supported the integrated and sustainable management of the water resources in the country. It aimed at improving the competence of the ministry in charge of water resources management and of its subordinate authorities (water resources management administration) on the national and regional level in order to enable them to reform and develop the water sector and to establish effective organisational structures on both the national and the regional level.

During the first phase of the project (until 04/2006), a first basis for an improvement in the institutional framework and in the technical expertise was laid. A reform concept as well as detailed proposals for the areas to be regulated were agreed upon with the relevant stakeholders on the national level. Important fundamental decisions and drafts of new regulations are available by now and their binding introduction can be expected (Water Resources Management Policy; Strategic Policy Framework for the Water Sector; River Basin Institutional Set-up; Water Law, and others). Furthermore, areas of responsibility were defined on the level of the ministry and the related administration and internal reforms for an adaptation of the organisational set-up were initiated. In this phase, the project was split into 3 components.

The second phase concentrated its efforts on further supporting the reform process initiated. Accordingly, component 3 (utility support) was spun off and integrated into a complementary project, which is also being implemented by RODECO. The sector reform project now focused on two levels only.

Service description: 

Phase 1:

  • National level: Introduction of the concept of integrated water resources management, development of a national water policy, development of IWRM rules and regulations, improvement of the communication and co-operation amongst the sector-relevant institutions. Aim of this component was to promote the water sector reform in the country.
  • Regional level: Establishment of functional structures for water resources management on the basis of catchment areas. Aim of this component was to enable the regional authorities to implement the proposed national water policy on integrated water resources management in two pilot areas.
  • Local level: Establishment of independent water supply and sanitation providers in Kabul and Herat that are capable to operate, maintain and manage their systems in an efficient, economic, technical and sustainable way.

Phase 2:

  • On the national level, the project supported the formulation of a sustainable national water policy, the establishment of decentralised institutions with a super-ordinate regulatory authority as well as an improvement in communication and coordination between the authorities and donors in the water sector.
  • Stakeholders on the regional level were advised in the establishment of functional implementing agencies for the management of water resources in one province (e.g. in the formation of water users associations). Lessons learnt in the pilot province can later be applied to other provinces.