Access to clean water for communities in Uganda

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 6. Clean Water
  • 13. Climate Action

The Lango Safe Water Project ensures that rural communities in the Lango region in Northern Uganda have access to safe water and builds their capacity to maintain their safe water sources for years to come. In Lango, access to safe water is a major challenge; boreholes to access groundwater often fall into disrepair due to a lack of funding or training for their maintenance. Having no safe water access forces communities to use unsafe sources such as streams to get their water - which has to be boiled to make it safe. To boil the water, communities collect and burn firewood, which places greater pressure on dwindling forests and produces CO2 emissions. It also creates a burden for women and children, who typically spend hours every day collecting firewood and water. And even so, boiling water does not always guarantee that it is safe to drink, so waterborne diseases continue to afflict the community.

In this project, boreholes are rehabilitated by skilled technicians, and water quality testing is conducted to ensure that the water is safe to drink. Local communities are supported in forming Water Resource Committees (WRCs) which are responsible for ensuring the ongoing maintenance of the borehole in the community and surrounding areas. The WRCs are able to conduct minor repairs to the boreholes, but a regular maintenance programme is conducted by technicians and CO2balance staff to address any more major problems in borehole functionality.  WASH trainings are also delivered to train communities in hygiene and sanitation techniques, which is reinforced by ongoing support from WRCs.

To date, the boreholes rehabilitated through the project have brought clean water to over 40,000 people throughout Lango. Almost 100% of people living in targeted communities use the rehabilitated boreholes for the majority of their water needs. For borehole users, it is no longer necessary to boil water in order to make it safe, thereby eliminating a source of CO2 emissions. Users also benefit from reduced exposure to waterborne disease and save hours every day that would have been spent collecting water from faraway sources, thereby allowing for time to be invested in other more productive activities.

Project impacts and benefits:

  • Approximately 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions reductions generated per year (across 10 micro-scale projects)
  • 40,109 individuals have gained access to safe water, reducing exposure to waterborne illness
  • Households spend approximately 90 minutes less per day collecting water, as compared to before the project
  • Increased opportunities to engage in income generating activities due to time saved
  • Reduced school absenteeism due to reduced exposure to waterborne disease 

 >> See the Project Profile  


Telephone: +44 1823 332 233

Email: projects@co2balance.com

Website: www.co2balance.com

“The water yield from the borehole is very high and it is very reliable as a water source. The water user committee come and close the borehole in the night but we welcome that because we know that they do it so that the borehole doesn’t run out of water. It’s very convenient to have the water source collecting water and we are happy to be able to collect water any time in the day without fear that the well will be dry. The time we are also saving on collecting water has let me dedicate full time to growing chilli and soya beans, providing nutrition for my wife and children and income from selling at the local market.”
William OtyangCommunity member of Okar village, Kole district in Lango
“Before we had this borehole, people from the village would walk over 2km to collect water from an open well. People would lose so much time collecting water and then they would often fall sick after drinking it, losing so many days of work and school.” Esther recounts how this situation has improved since the rehabilitation, and describes briefly some of the activities of the WRC: “As a committee, we are responsible for opening the borehole every day from 7am to 7pm, making sure that it flows freely during all opening hours. We then engage the community in keeping the area clean and making repairs, most especially to the protective fencing.”
Esther OgumeCommunity member of Okar village, WRC chairperson