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International water targets & national realities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sansom Oct2017 repository.pdf (160.63 kB)
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International water targets and national realities in Sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Uganda

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-01-08, 10:44 authored by Kevin Sansom, David Hirst, Sam KayagaSam Kayaga
© 2017 Academy of Social Sciences This article considers how to reconcile ambitious UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for universal piped water supplies with developing country realities in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A concise process for effective reviews of medium-term national targets is proposed and is applied in an analysis of the current provision of piped water to households and shared community facilities in urban and rural settings in Uganda. Different disciplinary perspectives are adopted to review trends, the performance of key stakeholders and their scope for achieving new targets. Only about 5% of households have piped water supplies on their premises in rural areas in SSA. To achieve the SDG target of 100% coverage will, therefore, take a long time and requires continued support for the sustainability of community water facilities as a priority. The SDGs offer sensible long-term aims, but national medium-term target setting and reviewing remain critical and require realistic and systematic planning approaches, as well as careful global reporting of national performance against SDG targets. The authors argue that balanced incentives are needed to encourage stakeholders to strive for realistic targets in the medium term, without demotivating countries with limited capacities and resources.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

Published in

Contemporary Social Science


1 - 13


SANSOM, K., HIRST, D. and KAYAGA, S., 2018. International water targets and national realities in Sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Uganda. Contemporary Social Science, 13(1), pp. 17-29.


© Academy of Social Sciences. Published by Taylor and Francis


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Contemporary Social Science on 20 November 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/21582041.2017.1393557.






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