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Where we operate

Uganda

Uganda is located in East Africa, on the equator. Despite the economic growth in recent years, the country is still very poor, with massive inequality between different parts of the population.

Uganda has valuable water resources and ecosystems. However, climate change, the growing population, rapid urbanisation and failing water and soil management are causing increasing periods of drought, flooding, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and valuable wetlands are disappearing.

Because wood is just about the only source of energy and construction material, and the increasing population needs more and more wood, deforestation is accelerating rapidly. In 100 years, 37% of Uganda’s forests have been destroyed.

17%

7 % of Uganda consists of rivers, lakes or wetlands

1,3°C

Over the past 50 years, the average temperature in Uganda has risen by 1.3°C

Testimonial

It was fantastic to see how Join For Water leaves the initiative to the people of Uganda, as well as Ugandan NGOs.

Yemi Oduwale, ambassadeur Join For Water
Read this testimonial

In Uganda, Join For Water works together with its partners in the catchments of the Mpanga and Semliki rivers. The Mpanga flows in western Uganda, from the Rwenzori Mountains through the town of Fort Portal, to Lake George. The Semliki rises in Lake Edward in DR Congo, flows north along the Ugandan border and empties into Lake Albert.

Due to the impact of climate change and the pressure caused by overpopulation, the catchments are subject to erosion, pollution by pesticides, among other things, and wetlands and forests are disappearing. Nearly three quarters of the Ugandan population works with agriculture and requires more land for growing vegetables and raising livestock.

 

Vrouw in boomkwekerij in Oeganda
The saplings are grown to reforest deforested areas. © Joseph Muhumuza

Activities

Access to safe drinking water and good sanitation remains a point of focus: more ecological latrines are being added that are less harmful to the groundwater and rivers.

Together with our partners, we restore and protect wetlands, and we make the urban environment around Fort Portal green. The catchments are home to 120,000 people and the wetlands are vital to them. The organisation JESE raises awareness among the communities and involves them in its activities. Our partner NRDI offers increasing levels of expertise in tree planting activities, and river and ecological restoration in the Rwenzori region.

We prepare policy proposals to bring the importance of ecosystems to the attention of policy makers. Our partner JESE in particular plays an important role in this.

Join For Water also works closely with the University of Fort Portal. Students are increasing their knowledge surrounding ecosystems, as well as conducting research and sharing knowledge with colleagues at home and abroad.

 

What preceeded

Join For Water started in Uganda in 2000 and managed to do a lot of work with its partners in the Mpanga catchment. The focus was on sanitation in the broadest sense of the word: Lake George’s fishing docks were given a makeover with improved areas for trading fish, fencing and separate zones for waste, accessible and clean latrines for the community and the local population, and the banks of the Mpanga were made more secure from livestock.

You can now get water around the clock at the drinking water kiosks thanks to the payment terminals that have been installed. In schools, a lot of attention was paid to hygiene and hand washing. The custom of defecating in the open air came to an end in several villages.

Our partners in Uganda

Story

Belgian actor Yemi Oduwale visited Uganda

In October 2021 Belgian actor Yemi Oduwale visited our partners and their locations in Uganda. Together with Join For Water, Yemi wants to look at ways to create more awareness around sustainable water use, the need to protect our freshwater resources and making sure everybody has access to safe drinking water. 

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Story

Measuring is knowing

Until recently, safe drinking water was not a given for the communities of Mahyoro subcounty on the edge of Lake George. They used boreholes, drew water from the lake and the rivers, or dug for groundwater near their homes. Until recently…

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70%

of the households were interviewed

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