Watershed Uganda

The Watershed programme in Uganda has been implemented in the Rwenzori region Ntoroko and Kabarole Districts which includes several districts namely: Kabarole and Ntoroko. The program is being implemented in Kabarole and Ntoroko Districts by local NGOs HEWASA, JESE and IRC. At national level, the programme is being implemented by UWASNET.

Advocacy goal of Watershed Uganda

The Watershed programme in Uganda aims to improve governance in WASH and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) through strengthening the capacity of Civil Society to lobby and advocate towards Government and other duty bearers by engaging in evidence-based lobbying and advocacy.

Key Objectives of Watershed Uganda

The main objective is to improve the capacity of CSOs in evidence based lobby and advocacy.

In Uganda, Watershed is executed in two districts: Kabarole and Ntoroko.


By May 2017, Kabarole Dist had 1,024 improved water supply facilities. Shallow wells (500) were the most predominant water supply technology followed by protected springs (250), public taps (227 connected to 12 piped networks), deep bore holes (42), and rainwater harvesting facilities 5 (12). These facilities served a population of 325,261 people. T However, the sector plans to transition to piped water supply by 2040.   Only 59% of the water supply facilities were functional at the time of the survey.

Kabarole District WASH Master Plan


In Ntoroko District, around 2016, by the time Watershed programme started, the population was 69,700 (34,000 Female and 35,700 Male) In Ntoroko District, the access to water varied from 58% in Kanara Sub-county to 95% in Karugutu Sub-country. Ntoroko has 457 domestic water points, which served a total of 62,966 people. About 123 of the water points were non-functional for over 5 years and were considered abandoned. Ntoroko has 1 piped water supply scheme. For more details, please visit the Uganda Water supply the Atlas.

Visit Online water Atlas

Consortium Partners

1. Wetlands International South Asia (WISA) is the lead partner in the Watershed India project. It is responsible for implementation, providing scientific and technical support for use and conservation of wetlands. In the consortium, WISA coordinates project implementation including direct liaison with partners and content support on water security elements.

View Website

2. IRC is the knowledge development partner responsible for providing content and capacity development support on implementation elements related to sustainable WASH services, particularly WASH budgets and public finances.

View Website

3. Akvo Foundation leads monitoring, evaluation and learning activities for the project. Akvo introduced technology solutions in the project to capture project data and information sharing. It is also responsible for supporting landscape partners in their efforts towards process documentation and to generate reliable evidence for advocacy.

View Website

4. SIMAVI is working towards the mission to achieve a healthy life for all, we seek to support the realisation of the right to health. The right to health is a fundamental part of our human rights, and of our understanding of a life in dignity.   

View Website

Implementing partners

1. Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET). UWASNET is the national umbrella organisation for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Water and Environment sector. UWASNET is crucial in helping the Government realise its targets of alleviating poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 'Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all'. UWASNET plays this vital role in partnership with other key sector players such as the Government of Uganda, Development Partners (DPs), Private Sector, Academia and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

View Website

2. Joint Effort to Save the Environment (JESE). The JESE is an indigenous non-government service-providing organisation registered as a company by guarantee. JESE through her work in improved Agriculture Production and Natural Resources Management and long term development, has greatly contributed to improved livelihoods of target beneficiaries and provided opportunities for a better life especially for the rural poor households and provided opportunities for a better life especially for the rural poor households and communities. JESE targets critical forest resources in the Districts of Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa and Mubende in the Rwenzori region, aiming at strengthening stakeholder collaboration and coordination at community, district and inter-district levels driven by strong, legitimate and representative CSOs, private sector and community groups to tackle the issues of corruption, advocacy and also create spaces for synergies to combat illegal trade in charcoal and timber.

View Website

3. CARITaS FORTPORTAL- HEWASA Health Through Water and Sanitation EWASA is a Non Governmental Organization that envisions a healthy, empowered population in a sustainable environment, and therefore exists to improve the wellbeing of the underserved and vulnerable communities through integrated water resources management and livelihoods.

View Website

Watershed stakeholder:- As part of the planning the Watershed Programme the partners decided to commission a context analysis with the objective of understanding the environment in which the partners will be working. The context analysis intended to identify the most strategic stakeholders to work as local partners in the Watershed Uganda programme.

The main stakeholders of the Watershed programme in Uganda were identified as: Community members, Albert Water Management Zone, Technical Support Unit in the Mpanga Catchment zone.

National Stakeholders

UWASNET: As a key National Stakeholder in the programme. UWASNET’s strength lies in forging strong relationships at both national and decentralized levels.  It also represented civil society on Government coordinating fora.  Maintaining capacity and the strength of its representation at local level becomes a challenge for them sometimes. In the watershed programme, UWASNET disseminated and promoted of debate  and discussion- especially on key issues and lessons learned on specific topics/ for lobby and advocacy at the National Level.

Water and Environment Sector Working Group (WESWG): he WESWG and its sub-groups are of high importance and interest to the programme in terms of national level policy influencing.  UWASNET – as a member of the group likely to be the main entry point.

National Environment Management Authority (NEMA): NEMA is also a valuable repository of knowledge and data on environmental issues (particularly on hotspots) at a National level.

National Water and Sewerage Corporation: A key stakeholder due to scale of geographical coverage and potential impact they can have

Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC): An important organisation in terms of both regional coordination and cooperation.  Ithas ongoing projects ongoing in two of the Water Management Zones. In addition, the LVBC also implements a number of specific programmes.

Regional Stakeholders

Albert Water Management Zone (AWMZ): The Albert Water Management Zone (AWMZ) covers an approximate area of 56,600 km2 was delineated into four major basins that include: Edward, Albert, Kafu and Kiryandongo. AWMZ stretches from Bwaise (Kampala District) in the east to Bweramule (Ntoroko district) to the west and from Kisoro in the south to Kiryandongo in the north. AWMZ comprises over forty-four districts with some, however being shared with other Water Management Zones. The AWMZ established a regional office in Nyabukara located in Kabarole district and is, therefore, mandated on helping the Ministry of Water and Environment on achieving its vision, mission and objectives in the region.

AWMZ’s  major strides include; a collection of real-time scientific data for both ground and surface water, development of Catchment Management Plans (CMPs), the formation of Catchment Management Committees (CMCs), and implementation of  CMP’s. As on today, a  total of over seven CMPs have since been developed in the various catchments with their respective CMCs. The CMCs in the AWMZ are mandated to oversee the implementation of the developed CMPs. The composition of the CMC’s is drawn from the different stakeholders in the catchment.

District Local Governments (DLGs): It is worth noting that Mpanga CMO have chosen to involve political leaders directly by making the chair of the CMO rotate between the districts on an annual basis.  This  appears to be a deliberate strategy to promote political support as well as manage potential areas of contention. In the Watershed program, the DLG is responsible for supporting Watershed partners in documentation and knowledge management. CMO also builds capacities ofCSOs and CBOs .

Civil Society: Rwenzori region has a number of well- developed national NGOs and a number of international agencies too.  These are major stakeholders in the Watershed Programme because they play a key role in catalysing citizen’s lobby and advocacy efforts.


  1. Government structures:- Water Management Office in Fort Portal well established with 11 staff (two of them highly experienced) and Technical Support Unit.
  2. Presence of WASH stakeholders:- t Especially organisations like UWASNET as a member of Watershed and other Civil Society Organisations that have in the past worked with the Watershed Partners in the region.
  3. Policy Instruments:- National Development Plans e.g. NDP II is from 2015/16-2019/2020. Section 12.5 NDP II highlights Government intentions and commitments in terms of WASH and IWRM. These include increasing access to safe water and sanitation but also implementing water resource management reforms and promoting catchment based IWRM.


Civil Society Capacity in terms of policy influencing and advocacy:- Most CSOs operating at local, Meso and even national level feel that they understand and practice advocacy and lobbying work on both policy and programme level issues. In reality, many of them often lack knowledge and capacity on a range of related issues.

Objective of data collection: To identify the WASH issues in the target area for Lobbying and Advocacy through water point mapping, household and institutional sanitation.

Specific Objectives:

  • To identify WASH advocacy issues affecting people living in the catchment areas of River Semliki and River Mpanga.
  • To give recommendations for addressing the identified advocacy issues
  • To assess the water source distribution in terms of under-served communities and use results to advocate for better service provision by local government.

Expected Outcomes: 

  • A detailed report on distribution and functionality of water sources in Kabarole and Ntoroko District.
  • A context analysis report elaborating on  the pressing WASH and IWRM issues that require lobbying and advocacy

Study Area: These areas are located in the Albert Management Zone in mid-western Uganda. Ntoroko District (Mweramule Sub-county and Rwebisengo Sub-county), Kabarole District (Karago, Bukuku, Busoro, Karangura Sub-county).

Information about the methodology and set up of the data collection can be found in this concept note of 2017;

Surveys tools/ questionnaires

Information about the methodology and set up of the data collection can be found in this concept note of 2017;


Primary data


kabarole_waterpoints_monitoring_2019_clean kabarole_waterpoints_regupdate_2019_clean

kabarole_waterpoints_register_2019_clean kabarole_waterpoints_2017_clean

Surveys tools/ questionnaires

survey_kabarole_waterpoints_monitoring_2019 survey_kabarole_waterpoint_regupdate_2019

survey_kabarole_waterpoint_registry_2019 concept-note-mapping-water-sources-in-kabarole(1)


Gaps identified in 2017 after the water source mapping lead to the development of the WASH master plan. This also  influenced the decision by the District to undertake water source monitoring in 2019 which led to the development of the Kabarole District WASH portal. A dashboard with the water point data can be found at: https://kabarole-wash.tc.akvo.org/#

Primary data





Gaps identified in 2017 after the water source mapping lead to the development of the WASH master plan. This also influenced the decision by the District to undertake water source monitoring in 2019 which led to the development of the Kabarole District WASH portal. A dashboard with the water point data can be found at: https://kabarole-wash.tc.akvo.org/

Please find below the latest project updates from team members of the Watershed India consortium.