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

Project description

Title: Water Supply and Sanitation for Refugee Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Uganda
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE)
Overall term: 2018 to 2022

A mechanic working on the hand washing station ‘WASHaLOT’ while wearing protective gear

Context

Uganda is known globally as a pioneer of progressive refugee policy. With more than 1.4 million refugees, the majority of them from South Sudan, Uganda is currently Africa’s largest refugee hosting country. It is also one of the pilot countries for implementation of the United Nations Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF).

In 2019, in the scope of the CRRF, the country created action plans for including refugees in the national planning for the various sectors. The integrated Water and Environment Refugee Response Plan (WESRRP) was adopted in January 2020 and represents a major step towards implementing the CRRF. It regulates long-term water supply and sanitation for refugee settlements and host communities.

Humanitarian organisations have already initiated various measures to secure water supply and sanitation in refugee settlements in Uganda. However, the majority of these are short-term emergency aid solutions that are not part of a long-term approach. Integrated plans such as WESRRP allow national institutions such as water supply utilities to transition from short-term measures to permanent water supply and sanitation.

The programme works at the nexus between humanitarian aid and development cooperation, supporting national, regional and local institutions with implementing this transition successfully and competently.

Objective

Selected refugee settlements and host communities in northern Uganda have long-term water supply and sanitation. The performance capacities and skills of national, regional and local authorities and institutions have been strengthened.

A boy washes his hands at the ‘WASHaLOT’

Approach

The key implementation partner is the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE). The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the local district governments of Yumbe and Arua (Madi-Okollo and Terego) are also involved. Cooperation with relevant humanitarian organisations is an important  aspect of implementation. These include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and development partners such as the World Bank and KfW Development Bank.

The programme comprises five areas of action:

1. National

In cooperation with the Ministry of Water and Environment, the programme supports the Secretariat of the Refugee Sub-Group which coordinates and implements WESRRP.

Steel water pump with canisters

2. Regional

Support to decentralised units of the Ministry, especially the utility Northern Umbrella of Water and Sanitation (NU-WS), in improving and taking over water supply systems and subsequently operating and maintaining them.

3. District

Strengthen the capacities and services of local district administrations in the area of water supply and sanitation in Arua, Yumbe, Madi-Okollo and Terego.

4. Local

Support and collaboration with local stakeholders such as the Hand Pump Mechanics Association (HPMA) and training institutions to improve the operation and maintenance of water supply and sanitation systems in refugee settlements and host communities.

5. Local stakeholders

Provide  the organisational framework for implementing measures to directly improve hygiene conditions and sanitation in refugee settlements and host communities.

Further Information