Between 2017 and 2018, HELIOZ and its local implementation partner implemented a WASH project in Soroti District, Eastern Uganda, benefitting 3,434 households and 2,200 pupils in four schools (20,584 total beneficiaries). The project achieved a high outcome level providing safe water access and trainings on good sanitation and hygiene practices to 20,584 beneficiaries.
In the interest of continuously improving the quality of HELIOZ projects and intervention schemes with local implementation partners, the path from outcome to impact was evaluated as part of an assessment one and a half years after the initial 12-month project ended.
Implementation Partner: Water School Uganda
Project Region: Gweri Sub County, Soroti District
Uganda currently ranks 159th according to the Human Development Index 2019 (HDI value: 0.528; rank 159/189), therefore being part of the lowest 50 countries. Half of the country’s population still depends on unimproved water sources and only 18 % are using improved sanitation facilities, contributing to a mortality rate attributed to unsafe water, sanitation & hygiene services of 31.6 per 100,000 people (HDI 2019). HELIOZ has selected Uganda as one of its primary implementation countries with a focus on WASH activities (SDG 6.1 and 6.2), working with skilled partners in this sector.
The path from outcome to impact
The assessment highlighted the lasting effects of the project as well as possibilities for growth and continuation. 93 % of the interviewed households shared that unprocessed water leads to health problems in their families, indicating a lasting awareness regarding the relationship between water quality and incidences of diseases.
“My wife used to wash plates and cups from the ground next to the kitchen but now she uses the drying rack to put the plates, cups and also disinfect SODIS with WADI. There has been a reduction in water related illnesses like typhoid and stomach pains due to worms since we now take treated water. […] The home is now clean and my visitors appreciate sitting at home and taking clean water.” Okodan Ivan Eric, Awaliwal Parish, Gweri Sub-County, Soroti District
Furthermore, households have adhered to proper sanitation and hygiene practices in key areas. The project initially achieved 86 % latrine coverage. Currently, 66 % of households are using their pit latrines resulting in 128 out of 197 household showing no signs of open defecation. One area for improvement is the availability of handwashing facilities in working conditions.
“There has been an improvement in sanitation and hygiene around my home. I am proud to have and use a tippy tap [comm: handwashing facility]in my home, especially during these COVID-19 times where handwashing is one of the prevention methods stated by the government guidelines.”, shared Okodan Ivan Eric. But not all households were able to maintain the WASH infrastructures in the same way.
Behaviour change for sustainable water management and technology transfer to the implementation countries – both are integral parts of the HELIOZ project operations. 42 out of 197 households were no longer able to disinfect water due to lack of WADIs. The social dynamics in village settings as well as the fluctuant demographic situation with changing household structures is seen as a contributing factor by HELIOZ.
The results of the assessment underscores a key strategic decision HELIOZ has made since the project ended: The switch to multi-year projects building up strong local partnerships for continued households support in the area of WASH, access to additional materials like PET bottles and WADIs as well as plastic recycling and household waste management initiatives.
HELIOZ and its clients see the potential of strengthening sustainable development through private sector funding. Therefore, the step was taken to move on from short-term and solely outcome-driven interventions to multi-year projects that create measurable impact and empower communities to use the attained know-how on a self-sustaining basis. The high flexibility in project design enables data-driven planning that take acute developments (e.g. COVID-19) into consideration to strengthen resilience.
In the past 12 months, 59 % of interviewees have asked stakeholders in their reach for support regarding WASH and water disinfection – 32 % more than once. HELIOZ has identified the need for continuation and expansion of the initial project starting in 2020 – with an additional focus on COVID-19 measures. In concert with its customer, Elektrizitätswerke Schönau (EWS), 280 new households in the initial project region and 200 households from the first project phase will be (re)trained in WASH management including safe water access through SODIS with WADI. Furthermore, the communities and health centres in the area will be supported in COVID-19 prevention measures.
- 20,584 beneficiaries
Input / Output
- 3,434 WADIs
- WASH trainings in 3,434 households and 4 schools
- 8 rainwater harvesting tanks (10,000-liter capacity)
- 4 schools trained in Ferro-cement tank management