KIHIHI Hill Rainwater Harvesting and Sanitation Improvement

Kihihi is a small town situated in the north of the district of Kanungu,in south-west Uganda, just 10 miles from the border with the Congo. Kanungu (Kinkiizi Diocese) is one of two districts in south-west Uganda where WATSAN operates; the other, of similar shape and size, Rukungiri (North Kigezi Diocese) lies immediately to the east, see map.

Kihihi has a population of some 15,000. There are refugees from the Congo in refugee camps near the town.  Kihihi Hill, with Kihihi High School as its central feature, lies a couple of kilometres out of town. The project addresses water supply and sanitation needs at the school of over 1000 boys and girls, a small nursery school and a church. The total number of direct beneficiaries of 1165 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, of total capacity 30 cu.m., or from the very intermittent gravity supply, 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 1 latrine stance to 64 girls and 1 to 49 for boys. There are only two bath shelters, one for boys and one for girls. Both are dilapidated and inadequate.


The WATSAN project will include education and training of the pupils, staff and community 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 bath shelters, dish drying racks and tippy taps across the community. Gutters will be fitted to the large roofs of 2 classroom blocks to feed two 30 cu.m. rainwater harvesting tanks. Two five stance lined pit latrines with emptying facilities, with a urinal for boys and changing room for girls respectively, plus an 8-compartment bath shelter for the girls and a two stance latrine for staff, will be constructed at the school. Gutters will be fitted to the large roof of the adjacent church to feed into a new 30 cu.m. tank. A 5 stance latrine with changing room for females will be provided at the church for use by the nursery school, church congregation and the local community.


Our target for the June Walk for Water, to enable this work to proceed as soon as possible, is £25,000. This excludes anticipated contributions from the community of £4000. Excitingly, our partners in Uganda, have recently raised over £4000 for a similar project (Bwambara Hill) now completed. They aim to do something similar for Kihihi Hill, to bring us close to the total cost of the project of £35,000. This is real partnership and, to emphasising this point, two of the Ugandan Team, who will have walked in Kihihi, plan to join us on this walk in June.

Kinyasano Girls High School

The water and sanitation need at this school reached crisis mode in the 2015 dry season. The borehole pump, which was the only supply that could span the dry season, has now failed. Chronic rationing and water shortages in the area mean that despite infrastructure work being undertaken by the local authority, no supply to the school is planned. WATSAN will install a replacement hand-operated pump, which requires less technical maintenance and will ensure safe drinking water supplies throughout the year.

Funding for this project is coming to WATSAN from Bishops Waltham Rotary Club in the UK, in conjunction with a French club and Rotary International. The project will be monitored locally by Rukungiri Rotary Club.


This is a community water supply and sanitation project that aims to serve 226 people in their homes, plus 460 staff and pupils at Ihimbo Primary School, all of whom depend upon water fetched from surface water pools where the water is of poor quality. Two 20m³ and one 10m³ tanks are proposed in order to harvest rainwater from the school and the adjacent church buildings, together with the protection of a local spring. Health and hygiene education, and support to the community in sanitation improvement, will be provided concurrently.

Funds are being sought by the “Friends of North Kigezi” from Rotary sources for this project, which was originally proposed in 2013. 

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