Uganda Water

Today the water sector is a priority in Uganda as emphasised in the country's Poverty Eradication Action Plan. Ironically Uganda has significant water resources through its abundance of lakes (see image right) however the rapid expansion of urban areas together with poor water management has left the country with a low safe water coverage.

Uganda Water33% of the population do not have access to safe water and 52% of people are without sanitation. Infant mortality stands at 130 in 1,000, and 26,000 children under the age of five die every year die from diarrhoeal diseases. Inevitably this lack of clean water and sanitation has an effect on children's education in Uganda as well as the overall productivity of the nation. Teenage girls in particular often have to stay off school where there is no running water and in general being unable to wash hands is a contributory factor in the spread of illnesses such as diarrhoea.

One school child in Uganda explains "Whenever I take that dirty water because we don't have a borehole the stomach start paining me and I start diarrhoea. When ever I start diarrhoea I just go back home. I can remain at home. I cannot come to school. And I get treatment. If I get treatment then I come to school. Normally my subject I like science because I want to become a nurse. I want to become a nurse to save people's lives, now if I miss science I cannot perform well. Makes me to fail the exams. Because the teacher will teach when I'm not there. If exams come, I don't know their meaning. Then I fail."

Whilst Uganda's efforts to improve its water supply are well intentioned, it still spends less than 1% of its GDP on water, nearly half as much as its military expenditure. The reality is, if Uganda is to meet its Millennium Development Goals for water, it will have to construct 1000 new wells or boreholes and 30 piped systems every year for the next seven years. In the meantime for many, particularly in rural areas, its a daily 1-2 km walk to fetch water from boreholes (right) and when those boreholes dry up during the dry season or hand pumps break down, they have to reply on swamp water to meet their daily needs. Part of the problem is simply a lack of funds in what is one of the world's poorest countries and a weak coordination and management of the issue at both a national and local level.

However the water problem is compounded by erratic rain patterns. The end of 2010 to early 2011 saw a drought affecting the area which caused domestic water shortages affecting agriculture and animal tending with farmers in some areas losing many of their livestock.


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Uganda Water

Uganda Water

Uganda Water

Uganda Water


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Uganda Water
Uganda Water

A video documentary and facts and figures about the water situation in Uganda, a country that is likely to become water stressed within a decade. The Minister of Water and Environment in Uganda has recently reported that by 2020, if current trends continue, Uganda will officially be a water stressed country. This short video documentary explores the water situation in Uganda in more detail.


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