In the 1980s, the majority of energy in Uganda came from charcoal and wood. However, oil was found in the Lake Albert area, totaling an estimated 95,000,000 m3 (3.354893339×109 cu ft) barrels of crude. Heritage Oil discovered one of the largest crude oil finds in Uganda and continues operations there.

Water supply and sanitation

According to a 2006 published report, the Ugandan water supply and sanitation sector had made substantial progress in urban areas since the mid-1990s, with substantial increases in coverage as well as in operational and commercial performance.

Sector reforms in the period 1998–2003 included the commercialization and modernization of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation operating in cities and larger towns, as well as decentralization and private sector participation in small towns.

Although, these reforms have attracted significant international attention, 38 percent of the population still had no access to an improved water source in 2010. Concerning access to improved sanitation, figures have varied widely. According to government figures, it was 70 percent in rural areas and 81 percent in urban areas in 2011, while according to UN figures it was only 34 percent.

The water and sanitation sector was recognized as a key area under the 2004 Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), Uganda’s main strategy paper to fight poverty.  According to a 2006 published report, a comprehensive expenditure framework had been introduced to coordinate financial support by external donors, the national government, and nongovernmental organizations.

The PEAP estimated that from 2001 to 2015, about US $1.4 billion, or US $92 million per year, was needed to increase water supply coverage up to 95 percent, with rural areas needing US $956 million, urban areas and large towns needing US $281 million, and small towns needing US $136 million.