WATSAN to pitch at The Funding Network’s London event

The live crowdfunding event in January 2020 will allow us to present to an audience of donors and request funds for better sanitation at Kihihi Hill.

The Funding Network‘s live crowdfunding events are about raising money collectively, in one evening, for causes the audience believes in. At the events, an audience of donors meets and hears from four charities with solutions to social issues. Each of them has six minutes to talk about the change they are making and how donors can support them, plus six minutes for questions. Once that’s done, an expert pledge master takes the audience through an auction of pledges, after which each charity takes away funds for their cause.

We are thrilled that WATSAN has been selected as one of four charities to pitch at The Funding Network’s New Year event on 22nd January 2020 at Goodman Derrick LLP in central London. Trustee Kate Parrinder will once again put WATSAN’s case to an audience of donors, having succeeded in raising over £5,000 at a Funding Network event in Oxford in 2018 (pictured above). The pitch will centre on funds needed for two new toilet blocks in Kihihi Hill, plus the associated health and hygiene education.

Kate will argue that dignified, clean sanitation is not just about loos; it has spectacular knock-on effects, starting with improving health, but leading to rocketing attendance records and exam results, which ultimately creates sustainable economic prosperity for the whole community.

If you would like to attend this event and watch the pitch, please sign up here.

WATSAN funding partners bring over £42k to the project

WATSAN is most grateful to partners Tearfund and The Rotary Club for funding two major transformative water and sanitation projects in Uganda.

The Rotary Club of Bishop’s Waltham have raised £7,300 for a project at Kinyasano Girls High School. The water and sanitation need at this school reached crisis mode when the borehole pump, which was the only supply that could span the dry season, failed. WATSAN has already installed a replacement hand-operated pump, and the Rotary funding will allow us to protect a new spring and supply clean and dignified sanitation to the school.

Longstanding WATSAN partners Tearfund have now contributed £35,000 to Phase 2 of an ambitious gravity flow scheme at Buhunga. More than 60% of the population in the project area draw water from unprotected springs, ponds and streams, and the rest fetch from a few and distant protected springs. When Phase 2 is complete, nine tapstands will serve over 2,000 people with first-time improved water supply, integrated with sanitation facilities and health and hygiene education.

Our heartfelt thanks to our funding partners, who have given WATSAN the opportunity to have a huge impact on these two communities.

Find out more about our planned projects

Work starts at Kihihi Hill

Thanks to funds raised at the 2019 UK Walk for Water, as well as local fundraising completed in Uganda, the team has been able to complete several structures at Kihihi Hill.

Funds from the Walk for Water in the UK have kick-started work in Kihihi Hill, meaning that this isolated community now has a safe water supply and much improved sanitation, and is much better informed about good hygiene practices. Before WATSAN’s intervention, there was only one toilet for every 57 pupils at the school of 1,165 people, and an extremely intermittent gravity-fed water supply that had to be shared with the whole community.

Particular thanks go to those donors who responded to our previous appeal, especially Frances Buchan, who organised a flower-arranging workshop that contributed £700 to this project. Your generosity has helped us get this far, along with over £4,000 that was raised by the staff team in Uganda, thanks to their own Walk for Water in Kihihi.

The team has completed the following elements of the project:

  • 1 x rainwater harvesting tank at Kihihi Church
  • 2 x rainwater harvesting tanks at Kihihi School
  • 1 x five-cubicle pit latrine and changing room for male pupils at school (pictured above)
  • 1 x four-compartment bath shelter for girls
  • 1 x two-cubicle pit latrine for staff at school

Each of the construction elements above has health and hygiene activities (education around best practice use of the structures; construction of hand-washing facilities) bundled together with it. As funds become available the team carries out separate construction elements, along with the associated ‘software’.

This just leaves two elements to be fundraised for and built:

  • 1 x five-cubicle pit latrine and changing room for female pupils at school
  • 1 x five-cubicle pit latrine and changing room at church

These items will be the subject of a pitch made by WATSAN at The Funding Network’s London event in January 2020, to the tune of £6,000.

We still need around £2,000 to get us over the line and complete this project. If you would like to help, you can do so here.

Can you help us get over the line at Kihihi Hill?

WATSAN’s current big target project is Kihihi Hill, where local families and school children are currently struggling to survive and thrive with a pitiful and and intermittent water supply, and dilapidated and squalid toilet facilities.

Kihihi Hill is situated in the north of the WATSAN area, outside the small town of Kihihi, which has a total population of some 15,000. There is abject poverty in and close to the Rift Valley due to relatively dry conditions and poor soil. The plight of this area has been highlighted recently by severe drought and crop failure, which seriously affected the area. There are refugees from the Congo in refugee camps near the town.

The project addresses water supply and sanitation needs at the school of over 1,000 boys and girls, a small nursery school and a church. The total number of direct beneficiaries of 1,165 people includes staff and a small local community.

The town is served by an intermittent gravity flow water supply scheme, which extends even more intermittently to Kihihi Hill, and two springs from which townspeople must draw water when the gravity taps fail or are subject to rota cuts. Children at the school generally draw water from two small rainwater catchment tanks, but must often walk one kilometre to a town spring, and join queues of people collecting water there.

The sanitation facilities at the school are pitifully inadequate, with a ratio of one latrine stance to 64 girls, and one to 49 for boys. There are only two bath shelters, one for boys and one for girls. Both are dilapidated and unhygienic.

The WATSAN project includes education and training in a wide range of health and personal hygiene related topics, together with the improvement of sanitation facilities, provision of hand washing facilities, and promotion of better hygiene across the community. A fuller specification can be found on our planned projects page.

The majority of the funds required for this project have now been raised:

  • Of the total cost of the project of £35,000, we have contributions promised by the Kihihi community of £4,000.
  • Our partners in Uganda have recently raised over £4,500 for the project by organising their own local Walk for Water event in Kihihi.
  • Including some seed funding we have already provided, this leaves us with a current shortfall of around £10,000.
  • A brief reminder on the way WATSAN’s finances work can be found here.

Hence we are appealing generally to our supporters to help with the funding shortfall that we face for Kihihi Hill, as we aim to fund the remainder of this project. Could you help us to finish this project and achieve a decisive improvement to health and quality of life for the pupils, staff and community in Kihihi Hill?

Make a contribution – donate now

The dancing roads… and Moses’ need for a new motorbike!

An ageing motorbike plays a crucial role as part of Moses’ job for WATSAN, which centres on ensuring the sustainability of projects in Kinkiizi Diocese.

Those of you who have visited the WATSAN project will groan at the mention of the roads! Always cheerful, despite logistic difficulties that would depress many of us Brits, our Ugandan friends refer to their appallingly potholed highways as “our dancing roads”. Passengers are liable to be bounced around in all directions, with a helmet rather than a seat-belt the key to survival. Hence you can imagine the damage to vehicle tyres and mechanical parts – as well as your head and possibly your tummy!

Moses shared this very real need with us when he visited the UK in June. It will cost around £3,000 to replace the current clapped-out bike, and make a huge difference as Moses travels around Kinkiizi Diocese checking on the sustainability of existing projects, encouraging good management and investigating requests for further intervention and new projects from WATSAN.

Could you possibly help with a gift towards a new motorbike? Large or small, it would be most gratefully received.

Donate now