47.3 million

Following historic conflicts, 30 years of stability have produced a steadily growing economy in Uganda.

But 19.2 million people still do not have clean water. Much of Uganda is open water and swampland, but this water is undrinkable. Meanwhile, high demand and poor management lead to shortages of clean groundwater – facilities are under strain in towns and cities, and the springs and wells that rural communities rely on are mostly used up.

We are working with the Ugandan Government towards their ambitious goal of reaching everyone with clean water by 2040. And we have the experience to do it.

For 30 years, we have partnered with Ugandan local community organisations, helping them take ownership of sustainable projects that meet their needs and put them in control of their own futures.

We bring together people in health and education and put taps and toilets at the heart of hospitals and schools. To make an even bigger impact, we work with citizens, particularly women and girls, and build their abilities to hold service providers accountable.

We will make sure leaders understand that better water, toilets and hygiene are crucial for a stronger economy and healthier society. By prioritising clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, we can change normal for good.

people don't have clean water close to home.

That's two in five people.

people don't have a decent toilet of their own.

That's four in five people.

children under the age of five die every year from diarrhoea

caused by dirty water, poor toilets and no hygiene facilities.

Eliminating trachoma in Uganda

Trachoma is the most common cause of preventable blindness, damaging the lives of millions of people living in poverty. James Kiyimba describes how the disease disproportionately affects women, and WaterAid’s role in the race to eliminate trachoma by 2020.

A medic inspects a patient suspected of suffering from trachoma.
Image: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

Restoring dignity in rural Uganda

Image: WaterAid/Eliza Deacon
Ever since I stopped going to the toilet in the open I feel my dignity has been restored.
Margaret Among, 45 - Bobol village

Margaret Among, 45, lives in rural Bobol village and uses a wheelchair, which has made access to toilets very hard.

“With my physical disability I cannot squat,” she explains. “I can only sit. I grew up going to the toilet in the bush because latrines in my community did not have anywhere I could sit. But as a mature person, going in the bush is very shameful.”

Through our local partner, WEDA, we were able to train the community in how to make toilets that were accessible to people with disabilities. Then Margaret’s community built a new toilet for her, and she paid for its construction. 

She is delighted with the outcome. “My latrine is big. Inside there is a raised slab where I sit. I ride my wheelchair up to the entrance, and then I enter with ease.” 

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