According to the most recent Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) Report by UNICEF and WHO, 95% of people in urban areas and 68% in rural areas have access to safe water. Access to sanitation is much lower, with 34% of the population in both urban and rural areas using improved sanitation facilities. While significant water infrastructure exists in Uganda, due to a lack of strong operation and maintenance mechanisms, many systems are broken down 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 governments in the districts of Kyenjojo, Mukono, and Kamwenge, Water For People–Uganda strives to provide sustainable access to improved water and sanitation facilities. Sanitation as a Business programming is also being promoted, primarily in Kampala.
Everyone Forever in Uganda
Everyone Forever is a unique programmatic effort to provide water and sanitation to Everyone in targeted districts and municipalities, Forever. It means these districts and communities never again need another international water agency to address their water challenges. And it provides a model for greater replication, leading to a push for national full water and sanitation coverage. Water For People-Uganda is starting its Everyone Forever efforts by focusing on the district of Kamwenge.
Kyenjojo District is located in western Uganda and is home to approximately 336,000 people. In this largely agrarian region, the majority of people are farmers and the major crops are cassava, coffee, sorghum, and maize. Within the district, Water For People–Uganda is focusing its efforts on the subcounty of Kyarusozi, which consists of 61 villages.
Neighboring Kyenjojo is the district of Kamwenge. This rural district has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. It is home to nearly 317,000 people, most of whom depend on farming to support their families. Water For People–Uganda started working in this district in 2011.
Located in central Uganda, Mukono District has a population of over 565,000. Lake Victoria crosses into the district and makes the areas surrounding the lake a popular tourist destination. Within the district, Water For People–Uganda is focused on the subcounty of Nama and at this time is concentrating on sanitation work. The majority of the people in Nama raise livestock and farm for a living.
Lasting water and sanitation solutions can only be achieved when local role-players—the private sector, civil society, and local government—are supported. As such, Water For People is deeply involved with key local stakeholders, including the Ugandan government; the governments of Kyenjojo, Mukono, and Kamwenge; Captiva; and local non-governmental organizations.
Work in 2012
In 2012, Water For People–Uganda plans to continue to explore and test innovative models for piloting both water and sanitation businesses. Rapid market assessments of both water and sanitation markets will take place throughout the year to better understand the opportunities for businesses. With the support of Captiva, business plans for selected sanitation entrepreneurs will be completed, and these plans will lead to varying degrees of successful businesses. This will provide the program with more knowledge about which business models work well, which do not work so well, and the reasons why. In Kamwenge, Water For People-Uganda will complete a baseline assessment of the district to better understand the water and sanitation situation, and based on the results, will build out a plan for reaching Everyone Forever.