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Published on: 29/11/2023

Uganda's progress towards achieving the national Vision 2040 and global commitments to Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is reliant on the Third National Development Plan (NDP III) 2020/21-2024/25, a shift from the previous sectoral approach, to one that prescribes a wholistic programmatic approach with a mission to increase household incomes and improve the quality of life of Ugandans. The focus of the Water and Environment sector is therefore on reducing environmental degradation and the adverse effects of climate change, improving utilization of natural resources for sustainable economic growth and livelihood security, increasing access to safe water supply from 70 to 85 percent in rural areas and from 74 percent to 100 percent in urban areas and increasing access to basic sanitation from (improved toilet) 19 to 40 percent and hand washing from 34 to 50 percent.

Yet, despite the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ebola epidemic and climate change impacts experienced all over the country in recent years, water and sanitation issues remain perpetually underprioritised on the political and financial fronts. 

In the next five years (2021-2025), IRC Uganda will consolidate the systems thinking approach and collective action to respond to the challenges and trends in the sector, all aimed at supporting the government to deliver on the NDP III targets and achieve the global commitments of SDG6 on WASH for all Ugandans.

IRC Uganda will continue to ally with other like-minded WASH Systems partners to advocate and influence the policy space, generating evidence of what works and what does not work in WASH systems strengthening, and promoting improved planning and monitoring, especially at the decentralised levels. IRC Uganda will therefore continue to support local, regional and national government structures to establish and maintain WASH systems that are built to last. We will also continue to collaborate with state and non-state actors to make the case for the political and financial prioritisation of WASH, the environment, and climate change as vehicles that can drive Uganda to sustainable economic development. 

Strong relationships built over the years with our district partners, Kabarole and Bunyangabu local governments, and our intentional expansion to newer districts with Water For People under the One For All alliance, will be the foundation of our work to support capacity strengthening in WASH governance, and to pilot and scale up service delivery models such as WASH in Healthcare Facilities, WASH in Schools, WASH in Communities and Water Resources Management that meet national and global standards.

At the national level, IRC Uganda will remain a strong partner with the government Ministries of Water and Environment, Health, Education, and Sports; and will proactively pave inroads to partner with the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development to support policy research and action, promote sector coordination and financing, and facilitate dialogue spaces for learning, resource mobilisation and communication to profile and harness WASH for national socio-economic development.

We remain deliberate in initiating and maintaining collaborative initiatives with Parliament, civil society networks, the media, academic institutions, cultural institutions, and advocacy groups to expand debate and amplify the voice for WASH human in national decision-making spaces.

IRC Uganda presents this strategic plan, aligned to the priorities of the Government of Uganda, to contribute to the attainment of Uganda's Vision 2040, to accelerate progress toward SDG 6, and to promote the prioritisation of water, sanitation, and hygiene as a foundation for the required human capital to support Uganda's ambitions.

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