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

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

Why doesn’t every family practice rainwater harvesting?Factors that affect the decision to adopt rainwater harvesting as a household water security strategy in central Uganda

posted 21 Dec 2018, 01:40 by Sekuma Peter

This article titled «Why doesn’t every family practice rainwater harvesting? Factors that affect the decision to adopt rainwater harvesting as a household water security strategy in central Uganda. It  investigates the reasons householders do, and don’t, adopt domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH). Using a mixed-methods research approach, we collected data in three districts in central Uganda. Factors that emerged as important with respect to uptake of DWRH to address water shortage, especially at the household scale, include the work of intermediary organizations, finance mechanisms, life course dynamics and land tenure. >Check out the paper are;

Africa bound to fail on SDGs if we simply Watch

posted 4 Nov 2018, 23:56 by RCN Uganda

By Watsis Martin-IRC

In his opening speech at the 7th Africa Water Week in Libreville today 29th Oct 2018, Dr. Canisius Kanangire demands for firm political commitment.

"Africa, did not do well on the MDGs and woke up a failure. Africa has not done well in the first three years of the SDGs. If we continue like this, we are bound to fail again." He said.

These are some of the inspiring words from opening speeches here at Stade de L'mitte, Libreville Gabon. IRC is not only attending, but will together with Kabarole District present the process of developing the Kabarole District WASH master plan 2018-2030. Kabarole district is represented by Hon. Aaron Byakutaaga, Sec for works.

Access to water and sanitation helps halt risk of disease in growing refugee camps on Uganda border

posted 24 Apr 2018, 03:02 by Sekuma Peter

Reporting by: Irene Nakasiita

Under the scorching afternoon sun, a young woman walks through the narrow, bushy foot path with a jerrycan. She opens a running tap near a fenced water plant, fills her jerrycan and returns to the path. She is Beatrice Anyei, 26. With a shy smile she welcomes me to follow her to her home.
Beatrice lives in a one-room grass thatched hut with her elder brother and her two-year-old son. Her husband died in the war in South Sudan, and in the end of 2016 the rest of the family managed to flee to Uganda. They now live in Uganda’s second largest settlement for displaced persons, called Parolinya. It hosts over 183,000 South Sudanese and over 10,000 from the surrounding countries.
She wakes up at 7 am every morning to start running her errands and to walk three kilometers to buy fish, which she then dries in the sun. In the evening she takes the fish to the market to raise income for her family. On a daily basis, she earns 3,000 shillings (about one US dollar) to purchase the minimum her family requires in order to survive.
The Parolinya Water Plant, taken over from MSF-Holland by Uganda Red Cross Society, has improved Beatrice’s life significantly.
“I am happy. Before we had to draw water from the Nile. My baby was always sick because of the bad quality of the water,” she says.
“Now we are safe, we no longer fall sick. I am grateful that the Red Cross brought safe and clean water near us. This water is unique because the Red Cross people make it clear and very pure white. We can use it for cooking, for washing fresh fish, washing our clothes and for bathing.”

Water and sanitation saves lives

Along with food and shelter, safe water and sanitation are the highest priority interventions in emergency situations. Unless adequate water and sanitation services are provided quickly, disease and death could follow.
Uganda Red Cross is currently operating the Parolinya water plant, with the support of the Swedish Red Cross, IFRC and Austrian Red Cross, where it is producing 2.4 million liters of water per day.
Uganda Red Cross society has deployed two highly trained engineers at the site and dedicated a team of 58, such as quality control experts, laboratory technicians, hygiene promoters and chemists.
“We are able to truck water every day and serve over 120,000 people,” says Martin Mbadhi, site overseer.
“The team has been working hard since day one and we are glad to say we are doing a great job here.”

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