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Wellesley College

Publication Date

Spring 2008

Program Name

Uganda: Development Studies


Urban poor areas of Kampala, Uganda see severe outbreaks of cholera, malaria, typhoid, bilharzia and other fatal water-borne diseases on an all too regular basis. Many people in the slums still lack safe drinking water and a sanitary living environment and despite efforts, the conditions have not reached or even come close to reaching international or national goals. This research explores various approaches to fixing this vital problem. The objective of this research is to compare various approaches to water and sanitation projects in Kampala’s urban slums. More specifically, the intent is to examine various implementation methods in the water and sanitation sector carried out by local governments, non-governmental organizations, and community-based organizations through the lens of direct and indirect community involvement in projects, and while examining the sustainability of the methods used.

The researcher conducted an independent study project (ISP) in Kampala’s slums for a six-week period from the end of March 2008 to the start of May 2008. She conducted many interviews with both community members and key informants of various organizations. These organizations include Kampala City Council, two non-governmental organizations, two community-based organizations, Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network, and National Water and Sewerage Corporation. Additionally, she went on many field visits to view projects first-hand.

The researcher concludes that the water and sanitation sector in Kampala’s urban slums has a long way to come in order to significantly improve the lives of the urban poor community. While organizations are making promising improvements and innovations on an individual basis, NGOs, CBOs, and the local government could affect many more people if partnerships and open cooperations were formed and fewer fingers were pointed in the someone else’s direction.


Growth and Development


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