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update-feedback test,users welcome costs reduction-Urban slum water links-increase access to clean healthy affordable water near community.

A climate-changing world demands that we seek every means possible to increase the resilience of maximizing a limited water supply in slums.

Photo of Obua Godfrey

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i. Project Start Date: 1996: a-income generation, b-Health &Nutrition,c-Environmental protection. ii. Water project-with limited funding,under health promotion and nutrition in rural areas, with tube wells,pumps&tanks iii. clean water project is for slum dwellers experiencing water scarcity. The total population of Lira Municipality was 9,122 persons in 1980, 27,538 persons in 1991 and 81,790 persons in 2002 and thus having increased by 18,416 and 54,252 persons in between 1980-1991 and 1991-2002respectively. iv. The increment from1991-2002 is greater than that from1980-1991 because of the massive displacement by the Karamojong cattle raiders that moved people from villages to Lira Municipality. The fertility rate for Lira Municipality stood at 4.17births per woman in the year2010/11 and currently over 100,000 persons and growth rate is about 3% and projection is at 3.5% annually Problems-the recent drought has brought our slum dwellers to severe water crisis that some communities have to share busrted wells with animals, as the old water pipes were broken or stop supply suddenly, and due to rapid population increase, the slum community are force to collect water from any available sources, leave alone the risk! as they are poor cannot afford bottle waters; increasing clean water supply, with new pipes, constructing new tube wells, hand pumps and water storage tanks solve this problem. Water usage:cooking 25%, drinking 40%, washing15%, sanitation 15%, other 5%


We are targeting Slums dwellers experiencing serious water crisis, vulnerable to outbreaks of water borne diseases, like those sharing water with animals. We will replace this by increasing access to affordable clean healthy water near home, taking into account costs reduction, since tap water, tube wells and hand pumps are cheap, affordable for the poor slum community. Processed bottled water is so expensive cannot meet the poor slum community’s daily water usage. Implementation Ugandan slums


i. The population is very poor, unplanned, experience rapid growth; ii. Infrastructure lacking and not well maintained; iii. Urban slum areas highly vulnerable to outbreaks of water borne diseases due to poor water supply; iv. community have low understanding of Climate change; they can afford cheap water supply like tap water which is maintained and treated by National Water and Sewerage Corporation which collects only water bills from users and the supply is bulk better for slums population, supplemented by tube wells and hand pumps which are also cheap and users pay monthly maintenance fees, additional support by local government revenue and storage tanks built in homes are easy to maintain.


  • Yes, for two or more years


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years


  • Yes


I have a Postgraduate Diploma in management from Maastricht School of Management, the Netherlands; I am passionate about community development ,and I have 19 years experience working as project manager for Rural Women and Youth Coordination, and other rural development projects in Uganda.


Enriched from previous projects in rural areas, now in urban slums, still to promote health and nutrition by: i. Optimal utilization of available water; ii. Increased supply and coverage of safe water supply in urban slum areas; iii. Cost reduction; laying down pipes are expensive,maintenance, by National Water and Sewerage Corporation,and construction of wells equally expensive for the poor slum dwellers but maintenance cheap affordable. iv. Sustainability; tap waters,maintained by NWSC, wells project carried out at the request of the community leaders, , the community are users and pays for their upkeep,local government support ensuring a supply of safe water far into the future v. Addressing major challenges-limited water sources, rapid population increase partly due high rate of urbanization; inappropriate water supply and management systems; also economic hardships from the aftermath of civil strife that bedeviled the area; Climate change; vi. Introducing good practices


i. enriched from previous experiences of similar project carried out in the rural parts of the district; we now use pipe line connections for bulk supply of clean water in slums areas; ii. The slum are left in the corridors of most development plans, the city authority in most cases concentrate in city centers for all development programmes leaving the slums/ suburbs unplanned, with infrastructure lacking, yet heavily populated and majority of them are poor, low income earners. In this case, most of them are living under poverty line, on less one dollar a day. They cannot afford to use mineral water on a daily basis, 1 bottle of 500mililitre mineral water is Ushs: 1000, $0.25; compared to one 20litre zerican is Ushs: 200, $0.05 ii. The project is participatory, more involving the local people or community participation; iii. Builds on local capacities, in partnership with local government authority- and training community learn the techniques of maintaining water quality and resources; have the power to report social problems in time, avoid out breaks or diseases / epidemic in society. iv. Has linkages/multiplier components: employment, some can sell get income,pay bills


our unanswered question include: Are there available Support funding to the Project?


Because we have toured this areas, See photo of dirty water, attached.People are still sharing water with animals, the tubes and pipes that were install 30 years ago can longer work, and when the few water pipes stop supplying water suddenly women and children in these areas have no choice but to draw water from these bursted wells that are only available water sources in their area.service delivery are mainly based in the city centers, the urban slums have cheap informal settlements, with poor infrastructure, community living in are poor, can not afford processed bottled waters for their living.


We are receiving positive feedback to our ideas. The community are rallying behind the project and looking forward to receiving affordable clean water soon, with Amplify support. Uganda is rich in natural resources, with large water bodies which can supply and provide its people with clean water if properly funded. The community agreed to play their part in the test meetings. As the condition stands, we have 100% support from users, and we shall cover all planned areas as funding permits. the major problem for the community is construction costs for pipe lines as maintenance is under NWSC but tube wells, and hand pumps are maintained by community supported by local government revenue. storage tanks also useful cheap maintenance assets.


We would like to increase clean water supply in slum areas through costs reduction,supporting the poor, affordable by user community, here, access to clean healthy water near home. There is need that the slum areas have a reliable water supply them; children will have better nutrition from clean healthy water and women will grow more vegetables to supplement their diets. Clean water is a necessity of life. Each day without it is another day of life threatening sickness and thirst. There is speculation that the El Nino of this November through January will bring with serious water-borne disease in six cities in Uganda We shall train women how to treat,maintain, harvest and storage tanks,


What factors contributed to a worsening position in clean water shortages in our slums areas? What has been the impact of this at the household and community level? Why have certain households and community in our urban slums become more vulnerable to outbreaks of water borne diseases? What interventions are most likely to achieve a positive outcome in restoring clean water supply in the urban slums at the household and community levels?

How does your idea connect to the broader system of the city where you plan to implement?

The city water is already been connected up to the city center, see also attachment,but the rest or the urban slums are not connected, national water and sewerage cooperation connects at will, like wealthy people normally have tap waters at their homes as they can afford to pay connections bills to the national water authority office. So we need funds to pay for this connections or construction of pipe lines to national waters, for affected slums areas, normally ,the cost of reconstructions of broken pipe lines are upon the same authority. The community will only have to pay for water as they draw from the taps, which is cheap, here, a 20 litre can is Ush:100, which is affordable for a family in Africa living with less than five dollars a day. Compared to a small water bottle of 300mililitres is Ushs:1000 about $0.25 and in a day one person would need to spend over $2.5 for 10 bottles for drinking water alone, leave alone other domestic usages, impossible for slum community.

Attachments (1)

maximizing limited water supply in urban slum areas.docx

The attachment describes the problems we would like to solve,taking into account climate change and urban slums, safety plans and regulations/policy,how we shall carry out the project , who the beneficiaries are,sustainability and more.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Chioma Ume

Hi Obua!

Below is some feedback from our experts. We'd love to hear your responses.

I'd suggest seeking opportunities for partnership across sectors as well as broader stakeholder engagement. Also, you'll need to understand community's attitudes around paying for basic services. The assumption that if you build, the community will pay and thereby ensure sustainability is a bit risky.

Is your proposal to build water and sanitation infrastructure? If so, do you have the support of local government? 

How is this idea different from the work that you are already doing?

Photo of Obua Godfrey

Below are responses for experts’ feedback.

I'd suggest seeking opportunities for partnership across sectors as well as broader stakeholder engagement:
-national water authority, local government, local water projects are our partners for this project.
All connections charges are paid to national water authority offices which lay down the pipes lines for the people who have requested and paid for the water connections. This is the same here with electricity connections, charges are paid to electricity distribution authority and bills paid monthly for services or users face disconnections.
. Also, you'll need to understand community's attitudes around paying for basic services:
the community is positive towards this project and it is done at the request of the community, who are highly vulnerable to outbreak of water borne diseases or lacking social services. The community will only have to pay for water bills as they draw water from the taps.
The assumption that if you build, the community will pay and thereby ensure sustainability is a bit risky: the pipe lines are already laid down by national water authority, in city center, the main lines and it remains the sole owner of the waters and repairs, maintenance costs are upon it. But the water bills are paid by the community who use its waters at affordable price, like here one 20 litres zerican is Ushs: 200, $0.05

Is your proposal to build water and sanitation infrastructure?
Yes, on request by community leaders for areas lacking social services also  in partnership with local authority. NGOs services are welcome in areas like health promotion and livelihoods/ income generation including other developmental programmes. This project is for areas not yet covered by national water services but if connected they will collect water bill as usual . We shall pay for construction work for taps waters in slums that are lacking infrastructure but as planned by local authority, mainly along road reserves, in addition tubes wells and hand pumps will also be constructed where necessary. Our main aim is for optimal utilization of available water and increase supply of safe water in slum areas.
If so, do you have the support of local government?
Yes, all projects done on behalf of local government because the funds for such projects are not yet available or that are within plans but lacks funding,are supported and they are handed over after completion to the relevant authority. Monitoring and evaluation where necessary is done participatory with the NGOs staff.

How is this idea different from the work that you are already doing?
i. This project is enriched by previous experiences of similar project carried out in the rural parts of the district under health and nutrition promotion; with limited funding;
ii. The slum areas here are left in the corridors of most development plans, one may wonder people using bursted wells, see photo, even some rural areas already have safer waters than here, so the city authority in most cases concentrate in city centers for all development programmes leaving the slums/ suburbs sometimes unplanned, with infrastructure lacking, yet heavily populated and majority of them are poor, low income earners. In this case, most of them are living under poverty line, on less one dollar a day. They cannot afford to pay for pipe water connections nor use mineral water on a daily basis, 1 bottle of 500mililitre mineral water is Ushs: 1000, $0.25; compared to tap water, one 20litre zerican is Ushs: 200, $0.05
ii. The project is participatory, more involving the local people or community participation; we rely entirely on what there their problem are, and where the authority need NGOs help.
iii. Builds on local capacities, in partnership with local government authority- and training community ability to hold, contain, learn the techniques of maintaining water quality and resources; have the power to report social problems in time, avoid out breaks or diseases / epidemic in society.
iv. Has linkages/multiplier components: employment, as some members of the community can apply to national water authority sell tap waters in their community for income generation and clean water is health improvement, and environment protection/conservation, etc.;
v. Emphasis on cost recovery and sustenance. National water authority collects water bills from users/community. For repair  and maintenance.
iii. Tube wells and hand pumps, are owned by local government and community who pay Ushs: 2000/month, $0.5, and Ushs: 3000, $0.75 respectively for upkeep; there are water management committee elected  from among the community to carry out this work .
Drawing water is not free first come first serve. This system is working very well in the rural areas where we have tested in the past.

Photo of Chioma Ume

Thanks for the detailed reply! If I understand correctly, you'd like to build sanitation infrastructure through local municipal governments. However, they often don't have funding for this, so if they can't, you'd like to build tube wells and hand pumps that the communities themselves would manage? Is that right?
How do you envision using Amplify support?

Photo of Obua Godfrey

Thank you very much Chioma Ume for your comments.

Yes, indeed, as we and our partners, NGOs both local and international have done in rural areas in this country. Over 80% of the 50% clean water provided in the rural areas was by the same.

Now we have to intervene in areas, as we can put it, in a state of emergency, whenever there is possible funding, especially when community become more vulnerable to health hazards,, like in this case, Amplify support for Urban Resilience Challenge has come at a time when the same climate change and rapid population growth effect has resulted in serious problems in our slums, as the old water systems including tube wells that were built 30 years ago were busted by heavy run offs, couple with prolonged droughts, leading to serous water crisis/ water scarcity in and around all our slums dwellers who depend on these same water sources.

The local governments here welcome all NGOs or well-wishers who can provide services in partnership with them, normally when the funds are not yet available or expected funding for the same might seem to be taking long.

Here we are looking for the intervention that will provide bulky, affordable clean water supply in the slums, which can benefit up 80% of the population, living in these slums. Not forgetting that over 70% of the slum dwellers are rural-urban migrants, low income earners living in informal settlements, the only cheap accommodations they can find.

Bottle waters are expensive for the slum dwellers, living below $1a day, /poverty line. One 500mililitre bottle is Ushs: 1000, $0.25

Water usage: cooking 25%, drinking 40%, washing, 15%, sanitation 15%, and other 5%.
We will provide support to lay down pipe lines to provide tap waters as in city centers. The tap water is cheap, the users pay buy a 20 litre zerican at Ushs: 200; $0.05; the construction to cover over 70% of the slums. We expect over 80% users.

Tube wells and hand pumps will be constructed/ reconstructed in areas as found to be appropriate, and the users can maintain through small monthly contributions of Ushs: 2000, $0.5 and Ushs: 3000, $ 0.75, expected users are 15% and 5% respectively . The maintenance fees are collected by elected water management committee, organized and trained by our staff; the system is working well in the rural areas.

We envision the Amplify challenge support to help these slums get the water scarcity problems fixed within a short time, by providing bulky clean water supply as needed. We do not see any alternative or immediate support to this programme yet at the moment.

We understand there may be other means of providing the same services but the question of poverty and water usage or bulky supply limits the service at the moment here to the above mentioned programmes.

We welcome ideas that will include the poorest slum dwellers for the same.

Please keep those comments coming, especially where we have not given clear answers or you need more information.

We were not able to ask our questions live on Wednesday night, due to technical problems.
We have two questions:
1. Why is it that in our profile the evaluation is remains at 0?
2. Does being featured in the weeks and the number on the list have effect if any on winning? Where do we have to improve most in these two days remaining?

Thanks you once more,

Godfrey Obua

Photo of Chioma Ume

Hi Godfrey,

Sorry that you weren't able to make it through on Wednesday. To answer your questions:
1. There has been no numerical evaluation, so that is probably why you profile says 0. It's nothing to worry about.
2. Being featured is a way of us helping ideas get more readership and feedback - to drive collaboration on our platform. We want to celebrate our participants, but it doesn't have an impact on our selection of winning ideas. 
I think one of the main things that you could help us understand is how an idea like this could be sustainable after the pipes are built? Who maintains what you've built in past projects?

Photo of Obua Godfrey

Fine, thank you Chioma,

Now I understand the numerical evaluation, the ranking and being featured.
This is how an idea like ours could be sustainable after the pipes are built
  The amplifier support is to lay down pipe lines in over ½ of the surrounding slums unconnected and construct over ¾ of the tube wells and hand pumps needed according to our survey.  the Lira water system takes its water from Lake Kyoga. The system has two treatment works at Kachung that utilize conventional treatment processes. The average combined capacity of the works is over/about 60,000m 3/day, which is then, distributed to 3 major service reservoirs in Agwata, Adwila and then to Ireda tanks in the center of the town.
The entire network covers more than 100 kilometres of pipeline with over 7,000 household connections. Based on previous assessments of numbers of people served with household connections of water source use by the same, without a household connection, it is estimated that the network serves only 40,000 people, ten years ago, leaving out close to 60,000 people to live on other water sources,  the city has expanded more than three times, the population more than double.
The above project was funded by the World Bank for Uganda government, controlled by National water Sewerage Corporation- NWSC, and the subsequent connections to surrounding slums remained unfunded. But all the surrounding slums are more congested than the city centers.
Now individuals or NGOs, who need the service, have to pay money to NWSC offices for pipes line extension connections, which also use their staff to carry the work hand in hand with NGO experts.
This is a large expensive project, bulk supply of clean water,on completion is handed over to NWSC for maintenance. They collect monthly bills from users and this is how it works in the entire country.
The project aims at reducing costs and affordable for the poor, compared to expensive processed bottle waters.
Our staff train community how to make the water safe for drinking by boiling or use water guards and filter. Water drawn from the same sources for washing, sanitation and watering vegetables may not be boiled,rely on NWSC treated
Our programmes are explicitly targeting the poorest that are the majority and regularly experience water scarcity. We will in the near future give highlights to the community on measures required for future generations to make sustainable use of finite global water including giving priority to increasing promotion of a cross-sectorial approach to involve all stakeholders, including farmers groups to improve on water governance and encouraging investments to improve access to clean water by community living in unplanned slums.

Who maintains what you've built in past projects?

we do not have any problem  in this country concerning maintenance whether for our/partners past projects in rural areas,this urban slums one, I think  is due to change of status from rural to urban, which created gaps of service delivery. sometimes their voices are not heard.

We have constructed tube wells and hand pumps for the community in rural and trained them to maintain the project by electing water management committee, who serve the agreed terms, in democratic process, responsible for collecting monthly maintenance fees from users,cheap and affordable for all; tube wells is Ushs: 2000 $0.5 and hand pumps is Ushs: 3000 $0.75, they work hand in hand with local government,The money is banked for repairs, the project is not expensive, the local government is always to top the maintenance costs from the local revenue collections, according to local government Acts in Uganda.
This system is working very well in the rural areas here, as they are the only reliable water sources for the community. Like all other projects, the same is  handed over to the community leaders and relevant authority on completion. The users normally keep us in torched with them for advice and unheard concerns so we can voice them.
On the contrary it is only true for the projects that are imposed on the community without their interest or requests, no one cares. To avoid this happen, for us we listen to the community and answer their needs only by working on what really torches their lives and they are seriously looking for help from NGOs. All our projects are participatory, based on what really matters to them and normally on agreed terms and conditions, taking all of that into account for we do not have enough funding so we are very careful, selective in choice of the assistance we give, and sometimes we only look for public out cries. After completion of the project you do not have to look for who looks after or maintains as you leave, instead for us we normally receive votes of thanks and often made as reference for good service delivery/job well done.

Thank you very much once more for enlightening us.

Till then, please have a great holiday.


Godfrey Obua.

Photo of Chioma Ume

Thank you Godfrey - happy holidays & new year to you too!

Photo of Obua Godfrey

Thank you very much Chioma and all the team mates, happy new year to you !

Photo of Obua Godfrey

Dear Chioma,
Please find a summary of our programme.
Increase access to clean water- we use Israel’s model-Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World .As every day brings urgent reports of growing water shortages around the world, there is no time to lose in the search for solutions. Without action, food prices will rise, economic growth will slow, and political instability is likely to follow.
Let There Be Water also tells unknown stories of how cooperation on water systems can forge diplomatic ties and promote unity.
For sustainability, constitution for water and environment, which provides for government to work hand in hand with community in water maintenance and give support through local revenue; so, in our programme, we provide access to clean water and with donor support; and for long term plans, we train community about different issues/aspects of water like:
a-water in a changing world
This is promoting best practices that help to stimulate ideas and actions for better stewardships in the water supply sector.
b-Water quality training-The purpose is to introduce basic concepts of water quality and how it is related to ecosystem and human health; highlighting how Ecohydrology can serve to help achieve sustainable development on water and sanitation. The target audience includes community, urban/ rural, in partnership with academia, research scientists, and water practitioners, and can serve as a background to water assessments being conducted at regional and global scales.
The key areas are:
1. Aquatic ecosystem and human health depend on the physical, chemical and biological composition of water. Human activities have the greatest impact on the quality of water resources, even in remote areas;
2. Impaired aquatic ecosystem health can lead to impaired human health and economic decline, as a result of changes in biological productivity, community species shifts, chemical and microbial contamination, and physical alterations to a water body;
3. Restoration of some impaired aquatic ecosystems has been demonstrated to varying degrees in different parts of the world, including damage caused by acidification and eutrophication;
4. Climate variability, biotic invasions and the introduction of new chemicals and microbes to water bodies continuously pose new threats to aquatic ecosystem health that must be addressed by regulatory authorities at local, national and global scales;
5. Ecohydrology, as a component of Integrated Water Resource Management, presents an emerging opportunity to achieve the water and sanitation MDGs; and
6. Baseline monitoring data for aquatic ecosystems is a priority. Long-term monitoring is also required to track the effectiveness of policies and interventions.
The future of water quality at local, regional, and global scales depends on investments of individuals, communities, and governments at all levels to ensure that water resources are protected and managed in a sustainable manner.
c-Safety plans-Water, health and economics; Assessing the costs and impacts of different technical and policy actions provides a critical input to decision taking and policy making. WHO has developed and applied methods to apply such analysis to water, sanitation and hygiene interventions and has worked with global and regional partners to undertake and publish studies. Our major area of work is to adapt these methods so that they are appropriate for use at national and project scales.

We provide training for household water treatment and safe storage, as being a major burden. More than one billion people lack access to an improved water source.

Our insight; By increasing access, couple with household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) interventions can lead to dramatic improvements in drinking water quality and reductions in diarrhoeal disease; making an immediate difference to the lives of those who rely on water from polluted rivers, lakes and, in some cases, unsafe wells or piped water supplies, for both short and long term, at reduced costs, more sustainability.
The need for change
The world has changed; and our program must change too. Today, developing countries are growing rapidly, with aid representing an increasingly small proportion of development finance. To be effective in this new context, our support needs to be more innovative and catalytic, leveraging other drivers for development, such as partnering with all sector investment and domestic finance. We need to recast our program in light of this new development paradigm. Re-shaping the program. The purpose is to promote community interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. We focus on two development outcomes: partnering with all development sectors, training community to strengthen human development.
Thank you and please have a great time.
Yours sincerely,
Godfrey Obua

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