|A private water connection|
We started our day visiting Kampala City Centre Authority (KCCA) where we had a presentation from local officials and a manager from National Water and Sewage Corporation (NWSC). What a brilliant presentation to give us an overview of the challenges they are facing in the urban slums and the solutions that they are putting in to try and address the lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
Kampala has a population of roughly 1.6 million people over 200m2, 60% of these live in the urban slums, which make up only a small area of the city. To give you an idea the urban slums in Kampala have a population density of 400/hectare, the rest of Kampala is 73/hectare. To put that in perspective according to 2011 census data London has a population density of 52 per hectare.
|A shower in Kwampe slum|
|The condemned water supply in Kwampe Slums|
|These guys didn't want to leave me.|
|Flooding in the slums|
|Flooding in the slums|
|The storm drain where a lady was swept away.|
|The NWSC showing us a pre-pay meter|
The problem with these improvements in the poorer areas is that it encourages the more affluent of the poor to move in to the region, displacing the poorer either to another slum, or to set up a new slum. This fact really hit it home as to how difficult it is to find a solution to the issues in the slums. Its a massive task to get people access to water and toilet facilities in these area, I think it is the most challenging concept I have come across. In the rural villages the standard of living is really high compared to the slums and the solutions are clear and visible. The slums are a real challenge, the solutions are not clear and the residents are not necessarily engaged. A lot are not willing to adapt to solutions if it effects their everyday life, having no appreciation of the long term benefits the upheaval will bring.
Its been a long blog and I'm sure I have missed so much, but one last thing I want to write about is the advocacy work that WaterAid do. You will notice that I have made no reference in this blog to WaterAid schemes, a lot of the work they do in these communities are with partners and the communities. Its really important to deliver sustainable solutions and there is no point investing if the government and the local communities are not going to maintain any improvements. Its really clear the relationship and the awareness that WaterAid Uganda staff have tirelessly built up. It is this that has surprised me most from the trip. Its easy to sit at home in the UK and think that WaterAid is a British charity, but the country staff are so passionate they have been a true inspiration to me, so just quickly want to thank (sorry if I miss anyone), Spera, Peter, Caroline, Antonio, Rosemary and James who have really motivated me to get more and more involved in WaterAid's work.
Last night was our last night and we went to a fantastic Ugandan dancing show, a great way to end the trip with a great group of supporters. Thanks all for making it so special, especially Caroline and her WaterAid UK team.
Although we fly home today this won't be my last post. I will make sure I post a recap when I am home. Thanks all for reading.