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Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR)
Water Sector Restructuring
17/10/09
Over the last decade, Botswana has undergone a substantial increase in population and standard of living. Recognizing that many of its existing policies and organizational structures for the water and sanitation sector may no longer meet the needs of its current citizens, the government undertook a review of its water and sanitation master plan. That review, completed in 2006, made many recommendations for reform.

Over the last decade, Botswana has undergone a substantial increase in population and standard of living. Recognizing that many of its existing policies and organizational structures for the water and sanitation sector may no longer meet the needs of its current citizens, the government undertook a review of its water and sanitation master plan. That review, completed in 2006, made many recommendations for reform.

From 2006 until mid-2008, the government took steps to carry out the recommended reform. Given the complexity of the reform and constraints brought about by competing priorities, progress remained slow. However, the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources took the initiative in mid-2008 to revitalize the reform effort and committed to actually starting implementation no later than April, 2009.

To assist it in carrying out the reform effort, the MMEWR requested the help of World Bank. Phase 1 of that technical assistance started in September 2008 and ended on January 31, 2009. This report, and the accompanying annexes, is a summary of Phase 1 of the World Bank's technical assistance. The report summarizes its findings of the current situation in the water and sanitation sector, and then makes specific recommendations for the continued implementation of the reform effort.

Why Reform? There are three reasons why a major reform of the water and sanitation sector is indicated. These are:
First, water and sanitation services are currently provided by a variety of entities. This division of responsibility has led to an uneven level of services (ranging from very good to almost nonexistent), a lack of transparency for government subsidies, and a lack of accountability.

Second, the Government of Botswana has committed itself to providing piped water supply to all of its citizens by the year 2016. Consistent with world best practice, the only way to achieve this commitment is to have a clear separation and responsibility between: i) the delivery of water and sanitation services; and ii) the management of water resources.

Finally, finances in the water and sanitation sector are not currently sustainable. In order to achieve financial sustainability, the sector must be reorganized with an emphasis on improved and more efficient management, clearly targeted subsidies and a modern regime for setting and regulating tariffs.

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