Uganda's water and sanitation crisis
Out of its population of 45 million people, 38 million people (83% of the population) lack access to a reliable, safely managed source of water. Uganda has experienced two decades of economic growth, leading to large population movements from rural areas to informal settlements around urban centers. High population growth stresses the water and sanitation services that exist.
Further, urban people living in poverty pay as much as 22 percent of their income to access water from water vendors. Spending such a high percentage of earnings on water reduces overall household income, limiting opportunities to build savings and break the cycle of poverty. And many families living in rural areas spend more than 30 minutes walking to collect the water their families need, taking time away from work and school.
However, there is positive momentum as the government of Uganda aims to have safe water and improved sanitation for everyone by 2030 and Water.org is well-positioned to help.
Our impact in Uganda
Water.org began working in Uganda in 2009. We launched our WaterCredit solution in 2013. Since then, demand for water and sanitation loan products has grown significantly. We have partnered with multiple financial institutions and a microfinance association (with 22 microfinance institutions) to develop water and sanitation lending portfolios.
Water.org also works with a variety of sector organizations in Uganda, including Water for People, IRC, and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor. By partnering with other stakeholders, local and national government, and key players in the water and financial sectors, we’re working to remove barriers and build an enabling environment for affordable financing for water and sanitation.
A vision for future impact in Uganda
The water and sanitation crisis in Uganda remains critical, and we're developing new ways to scale our work to reach even more people over the next several years.
- We will continue to scale our WaterCredit solution with existing and new financial institution partners across the country.
- We are working with microfinance associations to expand our proven, powerful approach to even more microfinance institutions in the country.
- We plan to work with key stakeholders to drive public policy and practice shifts, enhancing the enabling environment for financing for water and sanitation solutions given the Ugandan government has a goal for safe water and sanitation for all by 2030.
- We are exploring new approaches to reach more people in need of safe water and sanitation solutions, like leveraging digital financial services and working with utilities to expand their service coverage to people in need.
Rose worked hard to build a good life for her family, though she lacked something critical to survival. She had no toilet or running water at home. It's hard to raise children without these things. Thus, with her little ones in tow, Rose's days consisted of selling charcoal at the market and walking long distances to and from her home to collect water. Now, four years later, Rose’s smile is brighter than ever. The water from the tap she constructed with her small loan is convenient and saves her hours each day. No more walks for water. Now she can dedicate her time to work and to caring for her kids.
Stories of Impact
Health and hope are flowing
Namulondo is a hardworking health assistant at a local hospital and a loving single mom who has dedicated her life to caring for her children. A small, affordable loan helped Namulondo pay for a rain storage tank, providing her family with enough water for several months.Read more
Stories of Impact
Water makes dreams come true
Water has the power to make dreams a reality. With a small, affordable loan made available to Rose by her local bank, Rose was able to give her family a long-term water solution. Now she has money to pay for her daughter's schooling, bringing to life Maggie's dream of becoming a nurse.Read more
Stories of Impact
Upon meeting Semambo one discovers she is truly living out the beauty of her dreams. Strong and bold like the coffee she grows, she overcame obstacles that once stood between her and the ability to earn an income to support her family.Read more
Uganda impact statistics
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