Many of our supporters will know that for many years WATSAN has enjoyed a partnership with Tearfund, who have provided approximately one third of our total funding. This arrangement was underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Tearfund and our partners in Uganda, NKKD WATSAN (NKKD).
Without notice, Tearfund indicated to NKKD on 18th May that they will not be renewing the MOU with NKKD, which expired on 31st March 2022, a decision that they indicated had been a difficult one to take and has nothing to do with NKKD’s performance. NKKD has recently completed and commissioned a large scheme at Ruheza, which was funded by Tearfund.
On 23rd June, when WATSAN’s UK trustees were informed, it came as a shock. We expected Tearfund to meet the costs of a new gravity flow scheme at Furuma, from the beginning of June, which would have met serious shortfalls in services to rural communities close to Rukungiri. This would have occupied the NKKD team for the next few months, whilst WATSAN’s UK Support team sought funds for a further project, Kazuru, in a remote and exceptionally needy area on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Whether this proves to be a long-term decision or not, it has a serious short-term impact on WATSAN UK’s ability to fund the team in Uganda as presently set up. And it comes at a time of worldwide inflation, as well as a drop in the value of the pound against world currencies. There is a two-fold immediate impact: intended beneficiaries will continue in a state of water and sanitation poverty; and parts of the WATSAN staff team will inevitably have to be laid off.
Hence, we have no alternative but to appeal to our supporters for immediate additional help, as well as looking for new support. An immediate uplift of 10 – 25% in regular donations would enable us to secure the continuity of NKKD WATSAN for the time being, both in terms of core management and our ongoing sustainability programme.
Construction of both the above gravity flow schemes is ready to commence. Given that funding for Furuma is not forthcoming, inevitably this project must now wait. We will look for new individual supporters, and major new support from institutional funders, big and small, to fund Kazuru, our present target project, but we are in competition with many other urgent needs worldwide. One-off donations are needed urgently, with a target of £25,000, towards the £100,000 total scheme cost.
We hope you understand that this is an appeal that we are extremely reluctant to make. Our current predicament and the seriously adverse worldwide environment has pressed us into making this vital approach to our supporters.
Thank you so much for any additional support you can give.