of urban residents living in slums
Urbanisation rate per year
of people without safely managed sanitation
of people without even basic drinking water
WSUP has been working in Uganda since 2018 through its Advisory arm, which operates on a consultancy basis. We don’t have an official WSUP office in the country, however, after several years of working there, we have established long-term relationships and programmes.
In Uganda, our work is not focused at present on the largest cities, but on tackling the challenges faced by low-income populations in fast-growing towns, building on the years of experience we have working with larger utilities. As always, we focus on ensuring that poorer and vulnerable residents benefit and that service providers can improve the quality and quantity of the water they provide. Often this is achieved by grouping several small municipalities into a single, regional, administrative structure. In Uganda, for instance, the Ministry of Water divided the country into six ‘Umbrella Authorities’, and replaced the technical support that the local community-managed water providers previously received with more direct control.
Aggregating providers in this way allows for increased efficiency through economies of scale. It has also allowed for water providers and Umbrellas to learn from each other; WSUP has held several workshops bringing operational staff from across the country together to exchange insights and experiences.
Philip Oyamo led WSUP’s work within Uganda: “At WSUP we are used to working with more mature utilities, but with the Umbrellas our partners were at a very formative stage, so we had to start at ground zero and build up their understanding and operations.”
With WSUP’s support the Central and Mid-West Umbrellas in Uganda are now realising the gains from professionalising their operations. These have included very practical changes to accounting methods (eg introducing double-entry book-keeping), establishing customer service departments, and investing in the strengthening and extension of the piped network to include low-income neighbourhoods. As a result, customers in the Mid-West Umbrella region can now expect any complaints to be resolved within 48 hours, billing has been streamlined, and the quality of water – which is tested more frequently – has improved.
“Customer satisfaction has really risen under the new system. When representatives from the water company come to their door in their white coats, and instead of collecting the bill they are testing the quality of the water coming out of the tap, that really makes people feel confident with the quality of the water they are getting.”
For more information on our work in Uganda visit our Advisory pages.
Urban residents served
People with improved water supply
Construction of a water filtration facility at Bundibugiyo, Uganda.
Part of the WSUP Advisory’s project supporting the Mid-West Umbrella water utility.