Straddling the equator in East Africa, Uganda shares borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, and Tanzania. More than 50 ethnic groups share this country, which also borders Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile. The economy is based upon agriculture, and poverty still challenges this country; for decades the economy suffered from devastating economic policies and instability, leaving it one of the world’s poorest nations.
According to the most recent Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) Report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), 75% of people have access to safe water and 35% to improved sanitation. While significant water infrastructure exists in Uganda, due to a lack of strong operation and maintenance mechanisms, many systems are broken and much of the infrastructure no longer meets government standards for access, quantity, and quality.
Water For People began work in Uganda in September 2008, building relationships with the government and local development organizations, and learning about the population’s water and sanitation needs. Working in partnership with local government, initial water and sanitation programs began in Kyenjojo and Mukono. Water For People’s focus areas have since expanded to include Kampala, Kamwenge, and Kapchowra.