Where we work


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More than 200,000 people benefitting directly (900,000 inidrectly) from water security (2014-2018)
Restoration of over 300ha additional degraded wetlands (totalling over 500ha) and the provision of alternative livelihoods to communities in the River Rwizi catchment area
Development of an Economic-Water Risk and Opportunity Assessment (E-WROA) Study in the Kiiha Watershed
Development of a 5-year Integrated Water Resource Management Strategy for civil society organizations (CSOs) in Uganda in cooperation with UWASNET
Launch of the Water Security Action and Investment Plan project
Context, Approach and Objectives

Uganda has seen an average 7% annual economic growth over the last two decades. This has seen: a reduction in poverty, from 56% in 1992-1993 to 20% in 2012-2013; around half a million jobs created annually; and improved access to basic services. Yet, the high rate of population growth (3% per annum), economic development (expected 5.8% in 2016/17) and increasing urbanisation is prompting severe water and environment risks for its population and economy. According to a recent World Bank study, meeting Uganda’s 2040 economic growth targets will require a tripling of reliable water supply relative to today’s levels, and will require significant investment in environmental and water resources management.

These challenges require a joint effort of water users from the public and private sectors and civil society organisations. In Uganda, the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) aims to improve water resource management, including the provision of drinking water and sanitation, and to promote sustainable water usage in the country.



IWaSP Partnerships in Uganda

Partnership Name

Sector/thematic area


Water Stewardship in the Kiiha Watershed


  • Water Resources Management
  • Solid waste management
  • Wetland conservation and alternative livelihoods
  • Economics or water risk and water resource management

2016 to 2019

Improved Community Livelihoods and Sustainable Water Management in the River Rwizi Catchment

  • Water Resources Management
  • River Catchment Management
  • Access to Water Supply
  • Wetland conservation and alternative livelihoods

2013 to 2016

Pollution Control Task Force (PTF)


  • Wastewater Management
  • Water resource management
  • Solid waste management
  • Integrated urban planning

2012 to 2019

Improvement of Access to Water and Sanitation in Buliisa

  • Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
  • Water Resources Management

2015 to 2016


  • Water stewardship
  • CSO capacity building

2017 to 2019

Three partnerships are currently active in Uganda. Two partnerships are closed.

Sustainable Water Management in the River Rwizi (2013-2016) supported the Rwizi Catchment Management Organisation (CMO) in promoting sustainable water usage and cooperation among water users, authorities and local communities. It worked to improve community livelihoods and the quantity and quality of water of the River Rwizi as the main source of water for residents and industries of Mbarara, the largest town in western Uganda. This partnership between the Coca-Cola System, the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), civil society and IWaSP. In addition, a collaboration with National Water And Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) was established to improve the quality and quantity of raw water for urban areas in Mbarara and to maintain wetlands.

The Access to Water and Sanitation in Buliisa (2015-2016) partnership sought to improve water security by implementing water supply, sanitation and water resources management activities in Total’s exploration area in Western Uganda. Projects covered by this partnership included stakeholder mapping and assessments, community training and the restoration of wetlands and forests. Total E&P Uganda, the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) and IWaSP created the partnership in 2015.

The Pollution Control Task Force (2012-2019) is a partnership between the Directorate of Water Resources Management, Kampala Capital City Authority, NWSC, Uganda Manufactures Association and Uganda Cleaner Production Center and aims „To strengthen collective action for a pollution free Greater Kampala that safeguards water and environmental resources while fostering inclusive growth and prosperity“.

Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET) is the national umbrella organisation for CSOs in the Water and Environment sector. UWASNET and IWaSP established the partnership to strengthen the capacity of CSOs to support the good functioning and implementation of integrated water resources management principles, and to catalyse effective partnerships between government, the private sector and CSOs in Uganda (2017-2019).

The Water Stewardship in the Kiiha Watershed Partnership (2016-2019) seeks to sustainably tackle and mitigate water-related risks for communities and industry around Masindi in Eastern Uganda. Partners include the Albert Water Management Zone of the MWE, Kinyara Sugar Limited & ECOTRUST.
Degradation of wetlands reduces the landscape’s ability to retain and purify water from upstream. Through the partnership, these vital wetland areas are being protected and restored, increasing water security and reducing agricultural fires.


Challenges and Outlook

In the coming year, IWaSP will launch its new projects Water Security Action and Investment Plan and the PTF Plastic Bottle Recycling Project. Furthermore, the IWaSP follow-up programme Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) for Growth will be incepted.


Country Set-up

In Uganda, IWaSP is anchored in the Enhanced Water Security and Sanitation (ENWASS) Programme, a joint programme of the German and Ugandan governments, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

ENWASS aims to strengthen institutional, regulatory and managerial capacities for more equitable access to urban water and sanitation.

IWaSP partners in Uganda include the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation (NWSC).

IWaSP is an international water security programme which combines global best practices in water stewardship with local know-how. Currently active in nine countries, the seven-year programme (2013-2019) facilitates partnerships between the public sector, the private sector and civil society to address shared water risks, while improving stakeholders’ use and management of water and building their capacity to develop their own solutions. GIZ manages IWaSP on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

Further information on Uganda’s water resources

Uganda is endowed with abundant water resources. According to FAO, although only 0.5% of the total available renewable water resources are currently withdrawn for use in agricultural (40%), municipal (43%) and industrial (17%) consumption, they are under increasing pressure. This is due to population growth, economic development and urbanisation, and is especially true for the fast-growing urban and agricultural centers. Climate change is projected to further intensify these threats. In addition, Uganda faces trans-boundary water challenges around Lake Victoria and in the Nile Basin.

For water management in Uganda, the biggest challenges are the over usage and pollution of water sources, the degradation of ecosystems such as forests and wetlands, the lack of enforcement of water regulations and the impact of climate change.

Contact Information

Mathew Parr
IWaSP Country Coordinator in Uganda