Busoga Trust HomepThe Busoga Trust provides sustainable access to safe water, improved sanitation and comprehensive hygiene & health education to the communities in rural Uganda.
Through this work, we hope to lift some of the burden of disease from the shoulders of the rural poor, allowing them to build healthier, more prosperous communities.
We have, since 1983, constructed over two thousand water sources in Uganda and such is our commitment to the long term sustainability of these sources, that our very first well is still pumping clean, accessible water today, some 30 years on.
After air, nothing is as important to the existence of life on earth as water.
750 million people worldwide have no access to safe drinking water and a staggering 2.6 billion people worldwide lack access to basic sanitation. The situation is even worse if you factor in functionality. Having access to a tap is one thing, getting water from it is another thing entirely.
These factors combine to become the primary cause of diarrhoea. Diarrhoea kills approx. 2,100 children every day—more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. Diarrhoeal diseases account for 1 in 9 child deaths worldwide, making diarrhoea the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5. For children with HIV, diarrhoea is even more deadly; the death rate for these children is 11 times higher than the rate for those without
In Uganda, the situation is dire. While it has many water sources, much of this water lies on the surface. Poor sanitation coverage, currently estimated at just 49%, results in the open sources being contaminated. Safe water coverage is currently estimated at 64% but it is far lower in rural areas than urban – 87% of Ugandans live in rural areas. In our experience, we know that coverage figures fail to take into account whether the sources are functional. In some cases we find true coverage to be no more than 30%. It is this very problem we are trying to combat in our ground breaking rehabilitation programme.
As well as causing tragic and unnecessary deaths, illness costs time and money. Children cannot attend school, parents cannot be as productive and the growth of communities and the country at large is held back by an easily preventable problem. It is an inescapable cycle of poverty in the poorest regions of one of the world’s poorest countries.
Read more about the issues in the 2014 UN Human Development Report
The installation of a water source is just one important step on the road to better health. Once drawn from the well water must enter a “safe water chain” that remains uncontaminated from source to mouth. Thus, in order to reduce the burden of disease we must also educate communities in the academic and practical elements of good hygiene behaviour. Our primary goal is to help put systems in place which prevent people coming into contact with the bacteria, protozoa and parasites that cause disease. There are three elements to this;
- Water: A safe water source is constructed to ensure a supply of water which is free from contamination. A protected source also removes the need to wade into water populated with worms, or mosquito habitats. This can be done in many different ways.
- Sanitation: A latrine must be constructed to contain the faeces. The community must understand the need to avoid open defecation and prevent water sources being contaminated.
- Hygiene: Hand washing facilities and hygiene education are vital to ensure that the safe water is collected, stored and consumed without risk of contamination during that process.
Here at the Busoga Trust we believe that what we do is a step towards achieving this solution. It is our goal to create an environment where the health, livelihood and general wellbeing of Ugandans can flourish allowing rural communities the right to enjoy a healthy more prosperous future.
Thanks to the continued efforts of Busoga Trust, other NGOs and local government the percentage of children under-5 dying from diarrhoeal related disease in Uganda has decreased from 18% to 8% in the last 7 years (WHO). Whilst this clearly demonstrates the impact of improved WASH programmes we must continue to push until that figure reaches 0%.