WATSAN continues its concerted effort to check and maintain existing water and sanitation projects across the region – known in Uganda as “sustainability” – under the supervision of dedicated Sustainability Coordinator Marius Katunguka.
Sustainability – ensuring past projects are still functioning within the communities they serve – has been a key strategic priority for WATSAN’s trustees and Ugandan team over the past two years. In 2014 WATSAN appointed Marius (pictured explaining the needs of an unprotected spring) as its dedicated Sustainability Coordinator, providing the resource to identify and prioritise maintenance work.
In 2015, the charity was fortunate to benefit from the support of former Thames Water planning expert, Mark Wickstead, who carried out an extended study during a six-week trip on the ground in Uganda. His report is enabling WATSAN to map every scheme in the project area, and record detailed feedback on what specific and general work is required to keep these facilities working to their full potential.
Since then, Marius and other members of the team have been carrying out Mark’s recommendations. In particular, sustainability project activities have been carried on Nyarushanje, Nyambizi, Karerema, Karinoni and Kiringa gravity flow schemes. In the third quarter of 2016 alone, 36 springs were assessed in Buyanja Sub County, Rukungiri district. You can read more detail about this work in the WATSAN staff team’s quarterly reports.
Looking towards the future, the team is now mobilising the latest technology to ensure ongoing maintenance and sustainability. For example, in order to pinpoint the exact locations of over 2,000 springs in the project area – some of which are well off the beaten track – the team is using GPS technology to methodically locate and record each one.