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Uganda’s Rural Water coverage touches lives of 4.3 million people in 2023

By Davis Mugabi

By 2023, Uganda’s rural water coverage had touched lives of 4.3 million people.

This is according to figures released by the Ministry of Water and Environment during the celebrations to mark the 38th NRM day Anniversary last month.

Sam Cheptoris, the Minister of Water and Environment, said achievement was possible because of a number of interventions carried out by his Ministry with an aim of increasing access to safe clean water in the rural areas.


  • The Government of Uganda passed a strategic policy directive emphasizing the provision of at least one improved safe water source per village. Based on the data obtained from 126 Districts, 57,034 Villages out of the 71,225 had an improved safe water source. This represents 80% of the Villages in the 126 Districts that had an improved safe water source. The percentage of the rural population using an improved safe water source was 67% based on the 81% of the Districts that submitted reports.
  • The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department is the lead department that ensures availability and access to safe and clean water plus hygienic sanitation in rural areas. The Department is tasked to provide water and sanitation infrastructure in all rural communities and is charged with the responsibility of increasing the provision, functionality, and effective utilization of existing water facilities. RWSSD coordinates the utilization of the District Water and Sanitation Grant that involves resource mobilization and allocation, supports planning and development of water schemes. Lastly, it gives overall technical oversight for the planning, implementation supervision, capacity development and other support services to Local Governments, Private Operators, and other service providers for the delivery of rural water and sanitation services across the country.
  • The specific target under the National Development Plan III (NDP III) is the increase access to safe water from 70% in 2020 to 85% by 2025, and access to basic sanitation from 19% in 2020 to 40% by 2025.
  • The Department has 3 divisions and six Rural Water Supply Regional Centres (RWSRC) situated in Lira, Moroto, Mbale, Wakiso, Fort Portal and Mbarara to extend services closer to people and support district local governments.
  • The RWSSD provides technical support to local governments in planning, budgeting, design and implementation of rural water and sanitation services. To supplement the provision of services in local governments, the Ministry implements through projects the provision of services in water stressed areas in the country mainly through construction of piped water supply systems such as large gravity flow schemes, solar pumped water supply systems and provision of sanitation facilities in public places such as government office headquarters, local government headquarters, schools, health centres, trading centres, markets.

The Rural Water and Sanitation Programme has benefited a total population of 4,354,514 persons by supplying clean and safe water and sanitation services in the period 2017 to 2023.

Table showing the Department’s achievements from 2017 to date.

Name of ProjectCompleted Projects
Support to Rural Water Supply Project.Kanyampanga Gravity Flow Scheme in Kanungu District, Ongino piped water system in Kumi District. Lirima Gravity Flow Scheme in Manafwa district, Bududa-Nabweya Gravity Flow Scheme in Bududa District, Bukwo Gravity Flow Scheme in Bukwo District; Nyarwodho Gravity Flow Scheme in Nebbi and Pakwach District.
Solar Powered Mini-Piped Water Schemes in rural areas.15 mini piped water solar systems in the districts of Kiryandongo, Kumi, Otuke, Mpigi, Kaliro, Namayingo, Butaleja, Butambala, Jinja, Ngora, Moroto, Busia, Luweero, Gomba, and Lwengo, Kabuyanda Water Supply System in Isingiro district, Kanyabwanga Water Supply System in Mitooma district, Nyamiyonga Katojo Water Supply System in Isingiro district,
Piped Water in Rural Areas ProjectRehabilitated Bunyaruguru water supply system in Rubirizi district, Constructed of Kahama water supply system in Ntungamo district and extension of piped water from Mbale to Butebo.
Large Rural Piped Water Supply SchemesNyarwodho Gravity Flow Scheme in Nebbi District, Buboko-Bukoli piped water system in Namayingo district, Bukedea Gravity Flow Scheme Phase I in Kapchorwa, Bulambuli, Sironko, and Bukedea districts, Orom solar powered water supply schemes 5 No Pudo Water Supply System, Katwotwo Lakwanya WSS, Agoromin WSS and Kalabong WSSin Kitgum District, 1Acholibur WSS in Agago District and  Longor WSS Pader District, Rwebisengo-Kanara Gravity Flow Scheme Phase I in Ntoroko,  Lukalu-Kabasanda Gravity Flow Scheme in Butambala, Rehabilitated and expanded Nyabuhikye Kikyenkye Gravity Flow Scheme in Ibanda and Shuuku gravity flow scheme in Sheema district
 Ongoing projects
Integrated Water Resources Management and Development ProjectConstruction of Bitsya Gravity Flow Scheme in Buhweju district and construction of 3 solar powered water supply systems in Gaspa, Nyakabale and Mutunda sub-counties in Kiryandongo district are ongoing.Under this project, Nyamugasani water supply in Kasese, Moyo District (Gwere Rural Growth Centres, Laropi RGC, Pajakiri RGC, Terego District (Edrayo RGC),  Madi-Okollo (Ewanga RGC) Yumbe District (Goboro RGC, Rodo RGC, Awoba RGC, Lobe RGC, Lomunga RGC, Nyori RGC), Adjumani District (Arinyapi RGC, Gulinya RGC, Arra RGC) Lamwo District (Panyira RGC, Agoro RGC, Padibe West RG) will be constructed. 25 solar powered water supply systems will be constructed in 18 Districts namely; Kagadi ( Kiryanga Sub-county and Kabamba Sub-county), Kakumiro (Kakindo S/c and Kasiita S/C), Rakai (Lwamagwa S/C and Kagamba S/C), Kaliro ( Bukamba S/C), Namayingo ( Banda S/C), Mayuge (Malango S/C), Buyende ( Kagulu S/C and Kidera S/C), Kasanda (Kitumbi S/C), Kyankwanzi (Bananywa S/C and Nkandwa S/C), Nakasongola (Lwabiyata S/C), ), Kazo ( Kazo S/C and Nkungu S/C) Jinja ( Butagaya S/C), Kamuli (Kagumba S/C), Kyegegwa (Rwentuha S/C), Kyanjojo (Kyembogo S/C), Mubende (Nabingola S/C and Nabiswera S/C), Ssembabule (Lwemiyaga S/C), Namutumba (Bulange S/C)
Support to Rural Water Supply and Sanitation ProjectConstruction of water supply systems in rural sub-counties less than 50% safe water coverage t: Kyankwanzi District (Nsambya sub-county, Ntwentwe S/C, Nkandwa S/C, Kiryanongo S/C), Mityana District (Bulera S/C) in, Buliisa District (Biiso S/C and Kihunga S/C) in, Kasese District,( Maliba S/C and Mukunyu S/C) i, Agago District (Omiya Pachwa S/C), Yumbe District (Midigo S/C) Kaboong District (Kalapata S/C), Amudat District (Loroo S/C) Nakaseke District (Kinoni S/C) Rakai District (Kyalulangira S/C),  Sembabule District (Lugusulu S/C), Kakumiro District (Birembo S/C, Kikwaya S/C and Kakindo S/C) , Kyegegwa District (Rwahunga S/C) , Kassanda District (Kigando S/C) Lyatonde District,(Mpumudde S/C) in Kisoro District (Muramba S/C  and Bukimbiri S/C) in. Under this project, Isingiro piped water supply will be constructed and it will cover most parts of the district with piped water on completion.  
  • Completed Large Water Systems are managed by National Water and Sewerage Corporation, medium schemes by Umbrella Authorities, and small piped water systems, boreholes, springs, and rainwater harvesting facilities in communal places are managed by communities through community-based maintenance systems formed at community level.

“The Ministry will continue to serve the country through various initiatives and priority programmes that subscribe to Uganda’s development agenda and Vision 2040. The Ministry rededicates itself to implementing the NRM Manifesto 2021-2026 by increasing access to safe and clean water to all Ugandans,” said Cheptoris.

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