The provision of additional funds for the Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (WSSP) in Uganda in 2015, has helped improve access to water and sanitation for one hundred thousand people in the east of the country, according to a recent report by the African Development Bank.
The funding, amounting to $8.3 million, was used to preserve and improve the resilience of people and ecosystems to climate change in selected flood- and drought-prone areas in the country’s eastern districts. The report was published on 28 August.
In the flood-prone areas of Mount Elgon, the programme strengthened the ecosystem’s integrity by planting trees on 782 hectares. It also helped 820 households, compared to the 400 initially targeted, to create water and soil conservation structures on their land, particularly in agroforestry. In addition, 1,296 households and 15 institutions benefited from the installation of energy-efficient cookstoves.
According to the project completion report, led by Nancy Ogal, Senior Water and Sanitation Engineer at the Bank, the programme provided 59,309 people, compared to a target of 40, 000, with climate-resilient sanitary facilities in flood-prone peri-urban areas. The programme also included the design and construction of 133 latrines with drainage systems, 121 blocks of ten latrines in 60 schools and quadruple latrines in several public places.
In other project locations, 20 schools and two public areas were provided with sanitation facilities, with the exception of Pallisa, where only one public latrine and 21 school latrines were built. For each school, a toilet and an incinerator for the disposal of used sanitary pads were provided to the beneficiaries.
In the area of rainwater collection, 903 household rainwater collection tanks were installed. benefiting 5,400 people. The project to extend the gravity drainage network has resulted in 1,200 additional connections serving 32,400 users. Finally, nine valley reservoirs with a capacity of 10 000 m3 for increased water availability for livestock were built in the three drought-prone districts of Apac, Otuke and Katakwi.
“The additional support has led to significant progress and achievements. A total of 97,109 people were served over a five-year period (37 800 for water access and 59 309 for sanitation). The project’s results have contributed significantly to improved national results. The number of schools equipped with basic handwashing facilities nationwide increased from 34 percent to 42 percent between 2016 and 2019,” the Bank report notes.
Better still, the report continues, cumulative water storage capacity for farming at the national level increased from 37.2 percent to 41 percent during the same period. The number of water user committees, water boards, environmental management committees, and watershed management committees with women in key positions increased from 67 percent to 75 percent. Finally, the number of people with access to an improved water source within a thirty-minute walk and within a one-kilometre radius increased from 67 percent to 70 percent.