Under pressure from climate change, capacity building pays off in Uganda

By Philip Oyamo, in Kampala On a chilly dawn in Kyenjojo, western Uganda, the electromechanical technician at Mid-West Umbrella for Water and Sanitation (MWUWS), the regional water service provider, assembles his small unit and equipment, ready to drive off to Kigorobya scheme, some 176 kilometres away. This follows a report received at 2am from the […]


Water in Uganda: the challenge of offering services to small towns

By Bridget Teirney Life in small towns is rapidly changing for communities across Africa. In the next twenty years the urban population is expected to double, and urban land cover to triple. But urbanisation isn’t just impacting the continents’ large and mega cities. Small towns are also undergoing significant transformation. Straddling both urban and rural […]


The WSUP Advisory report The challenge of small towns: Professionalising piped water services in Western Uganda tells the story of the recent progress made by the Mid Western Umbrella (MWU), one of the recently established Uganda’s structures of water utilities management. The improvements made in water provision in the country come as a much needed response to the challenges presented by the rapid growth of small towns.

Straddling both urban and rural life, small towns are at the forefront of a major change in population distribution, marked by increasing growth in urban populations, and systems and structures need to be adapted to keep up. Provision of water supply is one example of an essential service that needs to adapt to this evolution.

There are five key recommendations the WSUP Advisory report makes to help other utilities serving small towns:

  1. Adopt a decentralised management structure to remain lean, cost-effective and responsive
  2. Develop talent and empower middle management
  3. Start with short-term performance improvement and track simple metrics
  4. Meet operational costs to create breathing room
  5. Align support programmes with operational priorities

The publication provides further insight into each of these recommendations and provides specific experience and insights for all those concerned with sustainably managing water supply in small towns across Africa.

Download WSUP Advisory Uganda report

WSUP shows its stripes to highlight climate change in urban environments

The 21st of June is international #ShowYourStripes Day, and to mark it we’ve adapted WSUP’s city skyline logo to incorporate the dramatic visualisation of our changing climate created by professor Ed Hawkins, from the University of Reading. Climate change is already a reality and is only going to get worse in the years ahead. WSUP’s […]


Smart water: the experience of utilities in adopting digital solutions

Across 2021 and 2022 the GSMA’s Digital Utilities programme and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) collaborated on research exploring four Kenyan water utilities experience of adopting digital solutions and their digitalisation journey more broadly. This blog, co-written by Eden Mati (WSUP) and Zach White (GSMA), summarises the report’s key findings and messages. […]


World Water Day: videos show groundwater’s challenges and value

While we use World Water Day 2022 to celebrate groundwater and make it visible, two things become clear: the water from aquifers faces a number of different threats, and those who benefit from this source understand well its importance. In Chattogram, Bangladesh, pollution from a badly managed sanitation system has affected the quality of aquifers. […]


Time to give groundwater a little respect

Groundwater: a key resource for towns and cities around the world struggling to provide enough water for their thirsty residents. It has many advantages over surface water, as it is often more reliable, nearer to households, less vulnerable to pollution, and more resilient to climate variability. With urban populations in Africa and south Asia continuing […]


WSUP publishes 2020-2021 Annual Report

WSUP has launched its 2020-2021 Annual Report, presenting our operations and impact in the year up to March 2021. Through work in our core countries Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zambia, plus our emerging presence in Uganda and consultancy work in Malawi and Cambodia, we were proud to improve the lives of 6.7 million […]


During 2020-2021, WSUP’s work became more vital than ever before, with the Covid-19 pandemic driving increased need for general good hygiene practices.

Our Annual Report shows where, how, and how much WSUP’s work has benefited the communities it serves across Africa and south Asia.

In the year to March 2021, despite global challenging circumstances, WSUP reached:

515,000 people with improved water access

721,000 residents with improved sanitation services;

5.5 million people with improved access to good hygiene;

and mobilised $8 million in additional investment.

Lord Paul Boateng, WSUP’s chairman, says in his opening message:

“As a world leader in research and practical assistance in the market-led delivery of access to urban water, sanitation and hygiene, our efforts are critical to the achievement of SDG 6, clean water and sanitation, and SDG 11, sustainable communities and cities.”

Neil Jeffery, WSUP’s CEO, adds:

“Covid-19 highlighted how vital water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is, how central it can be to combating disease and how WSUP’s expertise is fundamental to overcoming that challenge in urban areas.”

Download WSUP Annual Report 2020-21

 

A year in water and sanitation: battling Covid-19 and climate

We reach the end of 2021, with Covid-19 and climate change having exacerbated the historic lack of access to water and sanitation for many around the world. Despite these challenges, it has been a year of many achievements. With Covid-19 and climate change permeating nearly everything WSUP has worked on in 2021, WSUP has continued […]