The WATSAN trustees are delighted to introduce WATSAN’s most recent annual report – a slightly expanded edition that hopefully gives our donors a few more insights into the work of WATSAN, which of course would not be possible without their generous support.
As always, when looking back at what we have achieved, we in WATSAN’s UK Support Group are struck by the continuing need for better water and sanitation. In Uganda today, many thousands of people still collect their water from muddy holes, and often have to walk several kilometres to collect it. Lack of safe, dignified facilities inevitably leads to ill health, preventing children from attending school and enjoying the success that could lift them out of poverty.
WATSAN’s UK Support Group has very close connections with the small staff team that carry out the charity’s work on the ground in Uganda. After a recent trip to the area, one of our trustees, Graham Piper, remarked particularly on the dedication, skill and compassion he observed in our friends in the project area.
As you’ll see from the stories in this report, our partners in the Ugandan team don’t just have the skill of the craftsman or engineer. Crucially, they have the interpersonal abilities and community connections to work in partnership, resolve conflicts, and get local people to buy into and take ownership of the schemes we are building – ensuring they will remain useful well into the future.
The trustees receive detailed quarterly reports on all of this activity. Good governance locally is also ensured by the oversight of a management committee, and fully audited annual accounts. Furthermore, during 2016, the staff team participated in an internal evaluation exercise supervised by local district water engineers.
Through our work we are reminded of how bringing safe, clean water into an area brings wider benefits. In Burema School for example, not long after WATSAN completed a project in 2014, enrolments doubled, and the numbers of pupils obtaining top exam grades tripled. New expert staff are willing to take jobs in schools or health centres because they now have acceptable facilities.
Looking ahead, the trustees are enthusiastic about funds being raised through our 2017 Walk for Water, which will enable much-needed work to be completed on Rumbugu Primary School, as well as a visit to the project by a team from
St Peter’s Church in Bishop’s Waltham. We do hope these and other fundraising success stories in this report are inspiration for how we can continue to extend our support, love and hope to communities in South-Western Uganda.