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What is the Government of Uganda Spending on Sanitation?

posted 7 Aug 2013, 02:41 by RCN Uganda

Countries signing the eThekwini declaration in 2008 agreed to two explicit commitments concerning sanitation financing. They pledged to create separate budget lines for sanitation and hygiene and committed to spend at least 0.5 percent of GDP on sanitation and hygiene. Although the eThekwini has been widely adopted, WASHwatch users reported that it is still difficult to know whether their government had delivered on these two commitments.

5 years on from the eThekwini declaration, I decided to investigate whether the governments of Uganda, Kenya and Ghana had created sanitation budget lines and how much they were reporting to be spending on sanitation and hygiene. I recognise that the availability, and transparency of budget information is likely to vary greatly between countries and I admit to choosing countries I believed would have relatively high levels of budget transparency. Wish me luck on my journey through budgets, policy documents and spreadsheets!


Not being in Uganda, I had to rely on available digital resources and started my investigation in the most obvious place, the websites for the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Water and Environment.

According to Ministry of Water and Environment’s (MWE) Sector Performance Report (SPR), a study in 2009 recommended the establishment of a separate budget line for sanitation, which was created but left unfunded until the FY 2011/12.

During the FY 2011/12, the MWE, through the Sanitation District Grant, allocated 2 billion UGX to Ugandan districts, with each district receiving between UGX 19 to UGX 21 million. The government recommended using the money for the following:

  • carry out baseline surveys
  • create demand for improved sanitation through either Home Improvement Campaigns and/or Community Led Total Sanitation
  • promote hand washing as part of the demand creation
  • carry out activities to mark the Sanitation Week.

Further information on sanitation financing can be found in the MWE Ministerial Policy Statement* containing the approved budget for 2011/12 and 2012/13 projections. Unfortunately, the 490 page document is no breeze to get through. The document details spending for the entire sector and addresses sanitation and hygiene specifically in a few different sections. There are separate budget lines for the following: Read more