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<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>

1.6.3 Legal framework

It is through the legal instrument that institutional responsibilities discussed below are apportioned in the countries of the region. Some legislation is however very sketchy, uncoordinated and sometimes conflicting in some cases. In Nigeria, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (FEPA) "Guidelines and Standards for Pollution Control in Nigeria of 1991" represents the latest attempt to coordinate existing legislation and to provide a framework for enforcing safe management of wastewater and other wastes. Environmental standards that will make the guidelines more effective and meaningful are yet to be developed, just as is the case with Zambia. Many of the States in Nigeria (>30) also make laws to empower their Environmental Protection Agencies which represent FEPA’s focal points in those states within the federal structure. The National Water Law of 1995 is however more far-reaching in its coverage, although its implementation is yet to be worked out.

Most of the existing laws on waste adopts a generalised approach with specific details left out. For instance, Botswana’s 1962 Waterworks Act of 1962 empowered the officer in charge, usually the Minister, to make additional regulations to check misuse and pollution of water. In South Africa, the Water Act of 1956 administered by the Department of Water Affairs on behalf of the Minister, enables both quantity and quality of water to be controlled. For instance, it requires water to be returned to the river of source, a measure instituted to encourage water re-use and by implication, collection and treatment and disposal of wastewater. In Zambia, the Environmental Protection and Pollution Act of 1990 came into effect with the establishment of the National Environmental Council. It requires a permit to be obtained from the operator of a sewage system before trade or industrial effluent may be discharged into the system.

1.6.4 Institutions responsible for wastewater and stormwater management

In Zambia, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development is responsible for water resources planning and management in townships and rural areas. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing is responsible for urban water supply and sanitation through district councils, while the Ministry of Works and Supply - water supply and sanitation for institutions (army camps, ministries, schools) and sanitation (sewage treatment) for some district centres. The Ministry of Environment takes charge of establishing sewage treatment plant effluent standards and for environmental policies and pollution control. The task of coordinating these various stakeholders have called for much initiative and political will.

In Ethiopia, the Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WSSA) carries out the implementation, operation and maintenance of urban and rural water supply and conventional piped sewerage. The Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MUDH) handles the overall sanitation policy and planning and for providing technical advice to the urban authorities.

In Angola, after independence in 1975, the responsibility for water supply and sanitation devolved on the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation Services (DWSSS). DWSSS was one of the two departments of the former Ministry of Construction, but the city of Luanda has the National Water and Sanitation Company created for that purpose. In 1987, the water sector was transferred to the newly created Department of State for Housing, Urban Development and Water. This was again succeeded in 1991 by the Department of State for Energy and Water together with the establishment of the National Water Supply Board (NWSB) as central executive agency. To aid the Board are two new Departments of Water Resources Management and of Hydraulics. Such institutional instability together with the political instability is certain to affect the effectiveness of the organization, particularly in developing adequate capacity. This may explain the lack of qualified personnel which has hindered the NWSB’s effectiveness.

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