Children from Lusera with water canisters
arche noVa/Axel Fassio

Uganda: Uganda: Villages at Lake Victoria obtain drinking water and toilets


one-time    regular
Even though Lake Victoria is heavily soiled, still many people in Mukono district are using the lake’s water for their daily needs, even for cooking. Then again, the inhabitants of those villages not situated in proximity to the lake, have to fetch their water from ponds due to the lack of secure water sources. With severe consequences for their health.
Simple World Map - Author: Al MacDonald Editor: Fritz Lekschas License: CC BY-SA 3.0 ID: ISO 3166-1 or "_[a-zA-Z]" if an ISO code is not available

Lake Victoria’s ecosystem is gravely endangered. Daily untreated industrial wastewater, pesticides, fuel from boats and trash end up in the lake. Additionally the northern shore is becoming increasingly populated. From other parts of the country people come to the lake, hoping for a secure livelihood. The dense population also brings problems, as often people are not sure what consequences might derive from the consumption of contaminated water. Those who do have the knowledge generally are missing the financial means to change something about their situation. In some villages there is not even a single toilet. The inhabitants then mostly have to relieve themselves somewhere close to their homes. This so-called open defecation can be cause for various diseases like typhus or schistosomiasis.

Together with the Ugandan NGO Katosi Women Development Trust (KWDT) arche noVa engages for an improvement of the living conditions, especially for  secure water sources and appropriate sanitary and hygiene supply in the district of Mukono since 2014.


Portrait of Rose Nakibuule from Bugula - (c)Axel Fassio/arche noVa

Before having a proper public toilet, open defecation was what everybody did and, especially during the rainy season, it was a nightmare. We suffered from typhoid, diarrhea and even bilharzia. Ever since arche noVa and KWDT helped us with toilets, there have been a lot of improvements on our landing site.


Rose Nakibuule (21), from Bugula in Mukono district

One aspect of the project for example is the construction of public wells. In many of the district’s communities secure water sources are not existent. So the inhabitants have to walk for long distances or fetch their water from open water holes. The quality of the water there mostly is completely inadequate. In some villages in direct proximity to the lake additionally public toilets will be built. At the same time these villages often are highly frequented landing sites. So public toilets are especially useful here, where many people meet, to prevent open defecation and the spreading of hygiene-related diseases. Next to public wells and toilets, also common showers built to improve hygiene standards.

A huge threat to health is litter strewn around in the villages. In most communities there is no organised garbage disposal. The trash is an additional burden for Lake Victoria which ultimately has negative effects on the fish population and therefore for the livelihood of most inhabitants of the district. So KWDT establishes waste disposal committees. These groups will be trained and equipped with tools. Organic waste has a special importance: It can be reused as fertilizer.


Every work is coordinated by female self-help groups in the communities, which are supervised by arche noVa’s project partner KWDT. They are, so to say, the hotline into the communities. By a close coordination with these groups KWDT is always up to date concerning the needs and sorrows of the beneficiaries. Thus they are involved in the implementation process right from the start. The project strengthens equal rights and supports the women and people marginalized in the fishing communities in general. They are motivated to take over responsibility and get active in political processes. Additionally KWDT schools the target group on their rights so they can defend themselves against inequities like land grabbing.


Project Overview


Contribution to improved living conditions in the fisher villages in Mukono district at Lake Victoria, Uganda

The objective is primarily the improvement of the access to clean and secure drinking water as well as an adequate sanitary and hygiene supply for the rural fisher communities by the development of infrastructure. Another important aspect of the project is the empowerment of the communities’ structures and especially the strengthening of women in the region.

Target Group

The project’s target group are people in the fisher communities at Lake Victoria’s shore in Mukono district. These people are especially dependent on support. The inhabitants of those villages often are excluded and marginalized. In many cases they are not able to improve their living conditions by themselves. Women self-help groups play a key role as implementing partner.

  • Construction of shallow wells and boreholes
  • Construction of rainwater harvesting tanks at schools
  • Construction of organic sand filters
  • Construction of communal latrines and toilets at schools
  • Construction of communal showers
  • Organisation of working waste management systems at village level
  • Capacity building (founding and training of water-user-committees, hygiene education campaigns, promotion of lobby work to benefit the fisher  communities on local level, training and equipment of waste management committees, establishment of school hygiene clubs)
since 2014
Co-operation partners

Katosi Women Development Trust (KWDT)



Hilfswerk der Deutschen Lions, Lions Distrikt MN 111, Lions Club International Foundation
LeFee Werbeagentur GmbH
Wilhelm Ewe GmbH & Co. KG
Private donors

Dana Ritzmann
Dana Ritzmann
Head of Communications and Press Relations
+49 351 481984-16
dana.ritzmann [at]