Uganda WASH Resource center promoting a dynamic, coordinated learning WASH sector that provides equitable and sustainable WASH services

Lack of toilets in Nansana Municipality strains health services

posted 29 Mar 2021, 11:47 by RCN Uganda

By Deo Wasswa

The mayor for Nansana Municipality Regina Bakite has revealed that the continued lack of financial resources to fund the municipality budget is greatly affecting the service delivery especially the health sector.
According to Bakite, the municipality remains battling poor hygiene due to absence of funds.
Bakite also noted that with the increasing population in the municipality, it is sad that they only have one public toilet constructed years back in Busukama sub-county.
While officiating the commissioning of a 14-stance water-bone toilet constructed by Water Aid for Nabweru health center III, Bakite said that even the 2021/22 Municipality budget plan has not allocated funds for a single public place of convenience.
At the same event, Aogan Silas, Kumi Member of Parliament who as the chairperson of parliamentary forum on water sanitation and hygiene asked the government and the parliament to revise the budget and remove costs for water bills on government health centers. Read more

Why aren’t men talking about menstrual health?

posted 29 Mar 2021, 11:40 by RCN Uganda

A WaterAid report carried out in more than 30 districts and five regions showed that only 40 per cent of the schools studied had hand-washing facilities and only 30 per cent of those had soap. They are further disadvantaged because they lack knowledge around menstruation and its hygiene management. Menstrual health remains very much a taboo subject. Even within families, menstruation is exclusively a female issue with males remaining ignorant of health and hygiene matters pertaining to their wives, mothers and children. Because this is a gendered issue, in societies where women are not empowered, girls and women could benefit from boys and men promoting better access to suitable and affordable products, and sanitary support. Continue

Uganda water and environment week (UWEWK) 2021

posted 28 Mar 2021, 23:16 by RCN Uganda

Since its inception in 2018, the Uganda Water and Environment Week seeks to contribute towards the attainment of Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation and achieving Ugandan National Development Plan and vision 2040.

Uganda Water and Environment Week (UWEWK) is a weeklong event that is organized annually by the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) through the Water Resources Institute (WRI).

The 2021 theme was: "Water and Environment security for socio-economic transformation of Uganda" and looked into the role water and environment resources can play in:
  • Increasing investment in value addition to environment and natural resources products and services,
  • Promoting natural resource accounting, to improve the national income measurement,
  • Promoting research, innovation and adoption of green appropriate technology to foster sustainable use and management of water and environment resources and
  • Reducing human and economic loss from natural hazards and disasters.
The 4th edition of UWEWK took place from March 21st – 26th, 2021 virtually and at the Ministry of Water and Environment offices in Luzira. The highlights of what transpired can be accessed at:

Highlights from the 7th Northern Region WASH Learning Forum

posted 11 Dec 2020, 03:19 by Sekuma Peter

The Ministry of Water and Environment through the Steering Committee of the Northern Region WASH Learning Forum organized the 7th Northern Region Learning Forum (NRLF) under the theme “The Invisible link: WASH, financing and Covid 19”. The event attracted a number of participants including MWE regional staff, District Water Officers from Northern Uganda, and CSOs like NETWAS Uganda, Amref Health Africa, Link to Progress, Divine Aid, GloFord Ug, Plan International, JF Well works Africa, AFSRT, HEWASA, JESE, SNV etc. A number of presentations were made to cover Innovations for WASH Financing, Coordination of the stakeholders and the new National Framework of O&M of Rural Water Infrastructure.The summary of the forum is attached below.

Uganda access to safe water increases

posted 8 Oct 2020, 06:37 by Sekuma Peter

Without access to clean and safe water, it is almost impossible to have a good life, Dr Fred Muhumuza, a lecturer at Makerere University says.
"The brain and heart are 73% water, the lungs are about 83% water, the skin is 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, while even the bones are 31%. We must have investments that enable people access quality water," Muhumuza adds.
Since independence, the country has been striving to ensure Ugandans access safe water. Currently, the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic and without access to safe water, this complicates the task ahead. "Now more than ever, access to safe water is critical to the health of families in Uganda.
People need water to wash their hands to stop the spread of the coronavirus," Elsie Attafuah, the United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative for Uganda says. Today, Uganda's rural water coverage is estimated at 69%, while the urban water coverage stands at 79.1%.
That means an average of 74.05% Ugandans have access to safe drinking water.
The Ministry of Water and Environment seeks to increase access to clean and safe water from 69% to 79% in rural areas and from 77% to 100% in urban areas by 2021. Water and environment minister, Sam Cheptoris said the Government is working to increase piped water coverage in urban and rural areas.

"Efforts have been made to increase storage  and invest in construction of multipurpose  water resourvoirs to boost production and productivity, "  said Cheptoris

The minister said 38,517 villages representing 66% out of the total 57,974 villages in the country have been served with clean water. So far, 35 districts have their water coverage above 80%.
The sector has constructed 132,341 domestic water points countrywide, comprising 41,112 (deep boreholes), 21,590 (shallow wells), 29,097 (protected spring), 20,306 (public stand posts/taps) and 20,236 (rainwater harvesting tanks) serving 27, 797,316 people.
Additional delivery of water to 23,910 wards within towns and municipal councils has been served by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) under the Service Coverage Acceleration Programme and the water ministry projects. The first piped water systems were completed during the colonial period in the 1930s.
The construction of new facilities increased from 1950 to 1965 under the framework of large national development programmes. In the late 1980s, donors began to invest substantial financial resources to rehabilitate and renew the water network in Kampala. Later, the existing systems were only partly maintained and no new facilities were constructed until 1990. 
Read the complete article

United States Contributes $13.3 million to Support Refugees and Host Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

posted 17 Sept 2020, 02:06 by RCN Uganda

The U.S. Mission to Uganda announces the continuing support of the U.S. Government and the American people to respond to COVID-19 in Uganda with a $4 million contribution to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and nearly $9.3 million to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UNICEF, and non-governmental organizations to address the impact of the pandemic on refugees and host communities. This is part of the $46 million total U.S. government assistance in support of Uganda’s COVID-19 response. With these latest contributions, the U.S. government in 2020 has provided nearly $162 million in refugee humanitarian assistance in Uganda.

This emergency humanitarian assistance responds to the joint United Nations appeal to address COVID-19 needs in Uganda. It includes nearly $6.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of State to UNHCR’s overall multi-sectoral support for refugees and refugee-hosting communities during the pandemic; $590,000 to UNICEF for youth and their care providers; $1 million to the International Refugee Committee to assist urban refugees in Kampala whose ability to support themselves has been undermined by necessary pandemic-related lock-down measures; and nearly $700,000 to Alight for protection and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) assistance related to COVID-19 in seven refugee settlements in Uganda. In addition, $500,000 supports ICRC’s global COVID-19 response. ICRC’s efforts in Uganda help to restore family links, prevent the spread of disease in places of detention, and facilitate collaboration with International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners to contribute to the global and local COVID-19 response. Read more

The National WASH CSO Forum to take place from 22nd -24th Sept 2020

posted 11 Sept 2020, 04:35 by Sekuma Peter

The National WASH CSO Forum is an annual platform organised by UWASNET to bring together key sector stakeholders to deliberate on emerging issues in the sector and work collaboratively towards improved sector performance. The theme for the 2020 National WASH CSO Forum is, 'Prioritisation of WASH in national planning and budgeting to effectively address Covid-19 and other WASH illnesses in Uganda,'

This year's forum is one of a kind. Due to the Covid-19 restricts, UWASNET will hold the 2020 National WASH CSO Forum online via ZOOM with a series of Webinars taking place between September 22nd - 24th, 2020. Members at regional level already identified critical sector issues that will inform the discussions at the Forum and are working in collaboration with the Secretariat to ensure that the Forum is impactful and successful.

Here are some of the Advocacy issues identified to inform the discussions at the 2020 National WASH CSO Forum come September 22nd - 24th, 2020
1. Removal of 18% VAT & Withholding tax on WASH products
2. Can CLTS sustainably deliver an ODF Uganda? A case study of Karamoja region
3. Operation and Maintenance
4. MHM, Where is the Country Strategy?
WASH in Health Facility

A number of key stakeholders are expected to participate in the Forum.

Uganda Water and Environment Week back on line

posted 11 Sept 2020, 03:21 by Sekuma Peter

Ministry of Health Launches Sanitation Week with emphasis on handwashing

posted 18 Mar 2020, 05:46 by Sekuma Peter

Ministry of Health will on Friday 20th March in Bulambuli district commemorate the Sanitation Week as well as launch and declare every last Saturday of every month a general cleaning day. 

The Sanitation week celebrations will be held at Bulengene primary school playgrounds in Bulambuli district under the theme, “Sanitation for all, Leaving no one behind. The State Minister of health for primary care will be the guest of honor. 

Speaking at the official launch on Monday, the Commissioner for Environmental Health Department, Julian Kyomuhangi noted that Uganda is still lagging behind in Sanitation issues hence the need for new actions like the national general cleaning day. 

“Statistics indicate that only 37% of Ugandans wash their hands during critical times like after using toilets, before and after eating food while latrine coverage stands at 75%. Also, 75% of all diseases in Uganda are as a result of poor Sanitation and poor feeding. As Ugandans we need to take sanitation seriously,” she said. 

The launch comes at a time when the world is at a standstill due to corona Virus outbreak. The high spread of the disease is partly attributed to poor sanitation. 

“By washing your hands frequently and ensuring personal and domestic hygiene, we can avoid such disease outbreaks like Corona Virus. Our health should be important to all of us,” she said. 

She further noted that the ministry will be ready to use legal force for community members that will refuse to participate in general cleaning day but also encourage community members to isolate members that are adamant. 

Source: https://chimpreports.com

Agago district utilizes rocks to harvest water

posted 23 Aug 2019, 00:14 by Sekuma Peter   [ updated 23 Aug 2019, 03:53 ]

Agago district leadership, in partnership with RAIN (a brand of Aidenvironment), a non government organisation under the WASH SDG programme , has embarked on drawing water from rocks in areas where the water table is low. Moris Ocana, the district vice chairperson, said they have tried to drill holes in some communities, but this has been unsuccessful, yet the district continues to suffer from water crises, especially during dry seasons.
Under the rock catchment rain water harvesting initiative in Abilinino village in Lira Kato subcounty, which was completed in July, a tank with a holding capacity of 100,000 litres has been constructed on the rock from which the water will be drawn. The water sources which is expected to serve 6,000 residents, has pipes connected to the tank and a tap point. The collecting point is fenced off to keep animals away.
Abilinino rock catchment in Lira Kato subcounty, Agago district
"This is a trial project, but when establish that it works, more of these will be established at different points," Ocan added.
Stephen Kinyera, the project engineer for Aidenvironment, said there was a dire need for an alternative source of water, to the extent that even patients in Abilinino Health Centre II would sometimes lack water for swallowing drugs. He noted that they plan to extend the water pipes to the health centre and a nearby school.
"We are going to also train the water user committee in how to protect the water source from contamination," he said. Similar facilities will be constructed at Akwang rock in Paimol sub-county and Aryaa rock in Adilang by next year.

Water coverage in Agago
Raymond Olyel, the Agago district water officer, said the partnership with Aidenvironment followed the district 's five year strategic plan which indicated the need for support in the water sector. Olyel said many of the boreholes are located in the previously internally displaced people's camps that are no longer in use yet people returned home, thus creating a big demand for clean water sources.
"As the water department, our allocation started dwindling in 2010 when Agago district was created. We were initially receiving UGX 800m every financial year but it reduced to UGX 300m which is not enough for drilling boreholes," he added.
Water coverage in Agago district stands at 68% against the ministry 's rating that stands at 90% which the water officer disputes, since many boreholes are not in use.

Source: New Vision, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, by Arnest Tumwesige

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