Water flows from a wall tap. Copyright: GIZ

Improving Water Supply and Sanitation for Refugees and Host Communities

Water Supply and Sanitation for Refugee Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (WatSSUP)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Cofinancier

    Austrian Development Agency (ADA)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2018 to 2025

  • Other Stakeholders

    ARGE GFA Consulting Group GmbH-Interface

  • Products and expertise

    Sustainable infrastructure: water, energy, transport

A series of yellow canisters around a hand pump. Copyright: GIZ


Uganda is currently considered the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa. It is also one of the pilot countries implementing the refugee support measures devised by the United Nations. To that end, Uganda has established the integrated Water and Environment Refugee Response Plan (WESRRP) to govern the long-term supply of water and sanitation services to refugee settlements and host communities.

A mechanic wearing protective equipment works on a metal hand-pump component. Copyright: GIZ / WatSSUP

While humanitarian organisations are already taking steps to safeguard the availability of water and sanitation in Uganda, these largely involve short-term emergency relief measures. Integrated plans like the WESRRP are facilitating a transition to a scenario in which national institutions will supply water and sanitation services on a permanent basis.


Selected refugee settlements and host communities are provided with water supply and sanitation services in the long term. The performance and effectiveness of national, regional and local authorities and institutions have improved.


The project is operating in areas where humanitarian assistance and development cooperation intersect. To ensure that the aforementioned transition succeeds, it is supporting national, regional and local stakeholders:

  • National
    Along with the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), the project is assisting the WESRRP secretariat and its coordination with the other national and international stakeholders involved.
  • Regional
    The project is supporting decentralised entities of the MWE (particularly the operator organisation Northern Umbrella Water and Sanitation, NUWS) in taking over and operating water supply systems, as well as in maintaining and improving them.
  • District
    The project is optimising the (service) capabilities of local district administrations in the areas of water supply and sanitation in Arua, Yumbe, Madi-Okollo and Terego.
  • Local
    The project is providing training to local stakeholders such as the Hand Pump Mechanics Association to improve the operation and maintenance of water and sanitation systems. It is also promoting measures to expand the supply of sanitation services and improve hygiene.

Last update: July 2023

Two people wearing protective masks wash their hands at a group hand-washing station. Copyright: GIZ / WatSSUP

Additional information