Dispersed Walks for Water to take place in June 2023

Dispersed Walks for Water to take place in June 2023

Following a very successful and enjoyable series of dispersed Walks for Water in June 2021, WATSAN’s trustees are looking to repeat similar events in June 2023.

During the pandemic, we found that these dispersed walks gained more support and raised more money than events in the previous format, which involved gathering a single large group of supporters together for a weekend. We have therefore decided to continue with the ‘dispersed’ format, whilst finding other ways to meet as a larger group, such as at our tea party in May.

The dispersed events are being coordinated by longstanding supporter Andrew Starr, who will offer support to those who are in a position to organise local events. Walk leaders are responsible for planning a route, gathering local walkers, overseeing their safe participation, and sharing achievements with the wider group. Previous dispersed events have made good use of WhatsApp as well as an online Zoom event in the evening to bring together walkers from all of the different locations and create a feeling of shared endeavour.

Andrew is initially approaching those who have kindly led a WATSAN Walk for Water in the past, and others who have expressed interest, to see if they would be willing to lead a local walk again next year. We are now also seeking new walk leaders in new places for 2023.

The aim is to raise funds for our present target project, an ambitious gravity flow scheme in Kazuru.

If you feel you may be able to help, please do email Andrew at leicstarr@gmail.com, so that he can begin to put together a preliminary list of potential walks.

New resource pack for WATSAN presentations

New resource pack for WATSAN presentations

We have developed this pack of PowerPoint slides and videos to help our amazing supporters to give their own presentations about WATSAN in their local church, school or community group.

WATSAN’s trustees have really valued the support of our wider network in spreading the word about what we do and fundraising for us. At our most recent trustee meeting we agreed to make it as easy as possible for others to advocate for WATSAN, and so we have put this pack together to help you.

Slides – these can be downloaded and edited for your own purposes, and include an intro to WATSAN and its projects, impact and how to help. Download now

Videos – visit our YouTube channel to play videos such as a general introduction to WATSAN, and a feature about our current target project (Kazuru). Playing from within YouTube will give you access to the subtitles we have uploaded. Visit now

Leaflets – our trifold leaflet has all the key information about WATSAN, plus a form to set up a standing order. You can see the leaflet here – but please order printed copies from our Secretary Ellie Bensted! Contact Ellie now

Thank you for your help and support.

Staff team focus on small but vital water projects in Q3

Staff team focus on small but vital water projects in Q3

The Ugandan staff team have implemented a series of new low-yield springs in the last quarter, bringing their exemplary best practice to the processes of community and political engagement, as well as efficient engineering and construction. They discovered that one of the springs, at Mukugwe, was in fact high yielding, reminding us of the hope WATSAN’s projects can bring and the abundance of nature’s resources.

WATSAN operates across two districts of South-West Uganda, and the team has implemented spring protection projects in both areas over the past few months.

In Rukungiri district, new low-yield springs at Rweminyinya, Rwembogo and Kyabugashe are now serving three extremely rural villages. For all these projects, the team has engaged strongly with the community before, during and after the construction aspect, getting buy-in to the existence and maintenance of the new schemes; involving the beneficiaries in carrying out work directly on their project; and formally handing over the facilities to a local committee via a formal commissioning ceremony. In the staff team’s report to trustees, they note that “Speaker after speaker at this function thanked the UK Support Group for their financial consideration in helping communities to access safe and clean water through spring construction”.

In Kanungu district, a spring construction was initiated at Mukugwe (pictured), which is now serving 47 households with 233 people in the community. During construction the team discovered that this spring was unexpectedly high-yielding, with four separate water eyes identified and channelled into the spring. They were able to build the structure in such a way that a pipeline extension could be applied to it in future, potentially forming a mini gravity flow scheme. At the commissioning ceremony for this project, the WATSAN team were especially commended by local community leaders for their productive relationships with local government, and for the ecological credentials of the construction. This included using efficient and up-to-date technology; sensitive disposal of waste materials; and encouraging tree planting around the scheme.

Staff report that guest of honour Bishop Dan Zoreka “thanked in a special way the UK Support group for their routine financial support and for sending in money in a timely manner. He informed members that the donors do not always have the money, but save little by little to help us Africans”.

Projects like these are supported by our regular donors, who have standing orders to WATSAN and enable the staff team to identify and implement small-scale projects. Our thanks to go our loyal regular donors.

Set up a standing order

Regular donations increase by £2.5k a year in response to urgent appeal

Regular donations increase by £2.5k a year in response to urgent appeal

We would like to thank our supporters, many of whom increased their standing orders or set up new regular gifts to WATSAN in response to the difficult news about Tearfund’s withdrawal from our partnership.

In August we announced that our longstanding project partner Tearfund had decided not to renew the Memorandum of Understanding with WATSAN, a decision that they indicated had been a difficult one to take and had nothing to do with NKKD’s performance. This has serious repercussions for WATSAN UK’s ability to fund the team in Uganda as presently set up.

Our staff team are absolutely integral to our success. They have the technical expertise, local cultural and political knowledge, and decades of experience that they bring in order for our work to make an impact, as it has recently on communities such as Kinyasano and Kihihi Hill.

We appealed to our supporters for immediate additional help, in particular in the form of an uplift in regular donations, which would enable us to secure the continuity of the Ugandan staff for the time being, both in terms of core management and our ongoing sustainability programme. We are pleased to report that in response, regular donations from our loyal and generous base of supporters have increased by £2,500 a year, which takes us good way towards our target. We cannot thank our wonderful donors enough for this invaluable support.

Nonetheless, we are still seeking a further £5,500 annually to really secure our position. This equates to just 23 new monthly donations of £20 or more.

If you are one of our amazing regular or occasional supporters, can you help us bring one new regular donor on board? Here are some ideas:

We are so grateful for all of your support of WATSAN’s trustees – all of whom are volunteers. Thank you.

Important notice to our supporters regarding WATSAN’s partnership with Tearfund

Important notice to our supporters regarding WATSAN’s partnership with Tearfund

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.

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