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St. Edward's University

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

Uganda: Post-Conflict Transformation


This paper sets out to discover how access to water and sanitation has changed overtime for the residents of deserted satellite IDP camps in Lapul sub-county, Northern Uganda. Throughout the period of conflict in the region until today, residents of this region have struggled to gain adequate access to water and sanitation.

Qualitative field research was carried out over a period of eleven days, with six interviews and three focus groups held to gain information on how access to water and sanitation has changed overtime for the displaced. Methods of Rapid Rural Appraisal and Direct Observation were applied to make assessments of the camp environment. Restricted time limited the ability to produce a comprehensive report, and the communities interviewed were chosen to represent the larger population of rural displaced in Northern Uganda. Other limitations to research included the prevalence of alcoholism as a side effect of war, and the language barrier between the interviewer and the residents.

It was concluded that access to water and sanitation is currently decreasing for many of the rural displaced. Although greater access was provided in camps, overcrowding prevented IDPs from obtaining adequate amounts of water. When moved to satellite camps, international humanitarian aid provided greater access, but the boreholes put in place are now broken down and the pit latrines have filled up. Without adequate money, tools, or management to fix these systems, many are returning to collecting unprotected water sources and to using unsanitary means of human waste disposal. Coordinated efforts between the government, NGOs, Community Based Organizations, and local leaders are needed to address this growing problem.


Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Public Health | Sustainability | Water Resource Management


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