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Water For People Accelerates Access to Improved Sanitation and Hygiene Services Using Market-Based Approaches in Uganda

KAMPALA, UGANDA — Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF), a United Nations-backed initiative, recently awarded Water For People Uganda with a $5 million grant beginning April 2023 and lasting until December 2025. With this funding, Water For People Uganda, working through government structures and implementing partners, will improve universal access to safe sanitation and hygiene through projects in seven districts throughout Uganda. The project will increase access to improved sanitation and hygiene in communities and public institutions (schools and health care facilities).

A growing population, an influx of refugees, and financing issues are just a few of the factors contributing to the fact that only 34% of Ugandans overall and 26% in rural areas have access to basic sanitation. [1] Achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 – ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 – requires doubling the current annual rate of progress. [2]

The goal of Water For People is to build more inclusive access to sanitation and hygiene by working with financial institutions to develop and market innovative sanitation options, clustering households for self-financing, and designing the best-fit products for customers and households, among others.

In schools, the project will promote access to sanitation and hygiene while taking into consideration children with disabilities and adolescent girls, facilitating menstrual health and hygiene management through washrooms with privacy and incinerators.

Amidst staggering sanitation figures in the country, there is a need to adopt sustainable approaches anchored in and based on market systems. Water For People Uganda believes that taking the direction of market systems development for sanitation to areas where the population is willing to spend on having good sanitation is the way to go. This initiative is aimed at accelerating sanitation and hygiene access through market-based approaches as we strive to reach the 6.2 sub-goal of Sustainable Development Goal 6  – access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations

"Amidst pressing sanitation challenges in Uganda, the urgency for innovative solutions has never been more apparent. By embracing market-based approaches, we are not only addressing immediate needs but also fostering sustainable solutions for the future. This project is crucial right now because it not only accelerates access to sanitation and hygiene but also empowers communities to invest in their own wellbeing, ultimately paving the way for a healthier and more prosperous Uganda." – Brenda Achiro, Country Director, Water For People Uganda.

Implementing partners include the Ministry of Health Uganda, Ministry of Water and Environment, Ministry of Education and Sports, Water For People Uganda, IRC Wash, Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network, and Finnish Mondial (Health Through Water and Sanitation & Amref Health Africa). Grant funding will support the Buikwe, Buyende, Kabarole, Kamuli, Kayunga, Luuka, and Kole districts.

[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene. World Bank Data: People using at least basic sanitation services – Uganda, 2022.

[2] United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Uganda Progress on achieving SDG 6, 2020.

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