WSDF-SW Detail

Treatment Plant

WSDF-SW was launched in July 2006 under Directorate of Water Development, an arm of the Ministry of Water and Environment. It was established as a pilot structure responsible for supporting Small Towns (STs) and Rural Growth Centres (RGCs) get access to piped safe water and improved sanitation. The WSDF-SW identifies STs/RGCs, funds production of designs and actual construction of the systems, and sets up Operation and Maintenance structures. The WSDF-SW operations are guided by an operations manual approved by Development Partners and the Government of Uganda.

Currently WSDF-SWB is implementing “Support to the Water Supply and Sanitation Development in Small Towns and Rural Growth Centres” under the EU MDG initiative, a four year program that commenced on 19th December 2012. The program is financed by European Union (EU) and Government of Uganda (GOU), managed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

Currently the Water and Sanitation Development Facility (WSDF) is a Facility of the Directorate of Water Development (DWD) under the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), with substantially semi-autonomous branches. The WSDF funds and implements water and sanitation facilities in all four regions in the country. During the Joint Water and Sanitation Sector Programme Support of 2008/09-2012/13, three WSDF branches, WSDF-Central, WSDF-East and WSDF-North were established basing on the WSDF-South West, which was established earlier on, in 2006, following piloting of the approach in the South-Western Region since 1996.

The WSDF approach is a mechanism for funding water and sanitation investments In Small Towns (STs), Town Boards (TBs) and Rural Growth Centres (RGCs); the WSDF branches carry out design and construction of water supply and sanitation facilities, including related community mobilization activities and setup of Operation & Maintenance structures. The WSDF operations are guided by an operations manual approved by the Development Partners and the Government of Uganda


  • To Improve the socio-economic situation and the opportunities for people living in rural Growth Centers (RGC) targeted by the project through Provision of safe, adequate, reliable and accessible Water supply and promotion of sanitation facilities
  • To improve general health conditions through the reduction of water borne diseases in the targeted RGC’s
  • Empower communities in the targeted rural growth centers through: –
    • The nature of management of the WSDF (decentralized, participatory, bottom up)
    • High degree of community organization as prerequisite for funding.
    • strong capacity building
  • To contribute to environmental protection through the use of appropriate technologies in water and sanitation interventions, such as renewable energy and ecological sanitation.
  • To ensure that the gender issue is addressed in such a way that women are empowered and both sexes are involved as decision makers


In a bid to improve the standards of living of the people, WSDF-SW is involved in a number of activities that include water supply, sanitation improvement, environmental protection, promotion of gender mainstreaming in water and sanitation and capacity building as well as carry out HIV and AIDS mainstreaming in water and sanitation activities.

Water Supply

One of the project objectives is to provide safe and adequate water supply. To achieve this, the project is involved in construction of water supply systems to the target communities. The constructed systems must be affordable, manageable, sustainable, and expandable. This is due to the fact that after construction, these systems are handed over to the community for management of operation and maintenance.

The WSDF-SW constructs piped water systems within the RGCs / STs and supplies to communities through public kiosks, institutional connections, and private connections (yard connections) utilizing appropriate technologies.


Promotion of household sanitation with emphasis on excreta disposal facility coverage of 100% within the water area is WSDF-SW description of basic sanitation in RGCs. This is done through various trainings both at household using a household monitoring form and community levels, drama shows, posters and demonstration ecosan units.

Before a scheme is opened up for operation and maintenance, basic sanitation coverage must be ranked at 100%. This percentage is described at a level where each household in the target town has at least a pit latrine for safe excreta disposal.

WSDF-SW promotes a sanitation technology – Ecological Sanitation (Eco-san). The technology is promoted as an alternative sanitation technology because it is a solution for areas that have hitherto had problems with pit latrine construction, is cheaper in the long run and also promotes reuse of sanitized ecosan materials in agriculture. In each project town of operation, 7 demonstration Ecological Sanitation toilets are constructed free of charge for purposes of promoting the technology. WSDF-SW monitors use of the constructed facilities and endeavours to trace for replication in the community using a pre-designed Eco-san monitoring form.

In addition, two masons from each town are identified and trained on construction and management of ecosan toilets. This is specifically to build capacity at community level such that individuals who appreciate the demonstration units and want toilets constructed in their homes can easily get the service from the trained masons.


In its areas of operation, the target communities are trained and sensitized on the dangers of bush burning to the water, environment and agricultural production. Communities are also sensitized on the increasing burden of depletion and deterioration of water resources due to deforestation, soil erosion, and water extraction and over cultivation. This assists communities to take up proper measures in guarding against the above dangers.

In all implemented water supply systems, the project ensures the protection of water sources against contamination by obligating the recipient community to acquire at least (50 x 100)m of land at each source in case of a spring source and (60 x 60)m of land per source in case of a borehole. This land is then fenced off from any human and animal activity, put under forest with water friendly tree species and restricted to only persons that are required to maintain the area.

The Facility further encourages afforestation in water source catchment areas, ensuring that the source environment is protected against soil erosion and contamination.

At least 30% of the water is left at the source as per the ministry guidelines and the rest is piped away to the target community.

Capacity Building

WSDF-SW is involved in capacity building activities for the community. In project implementation, the community is required to participate in project implementation right from project formulation, through implementation up to operation and maintenance.

  • Awareness creation training (Training for project start up and later for construction)

Training for implementation of water supply and sanitation systems is given to the target communities; introducing the project background, activities and approaches. They are further trained on team building skills, leadership skills, planning, gender roles analysis, their roles and responsibilities, and general proper sanitation practices.

This is to equip them with knowledge to be able to plan, and carry out their implementation activities as expected. Still at the commencement of construction stage, a second level training is conducted with opinion and community leaders of the towns to be implemented under the Project. The target group is the Sub County leadership, WSC, Extension workers, Heads of Institutions, Heads of CBOs and Opinion leaders. This training aims at highlighting the obligations of the community during construction and to prepare them on reporting channels. It entails topics like Safe Water Chain, Community Contribution / participation / Development, Communication, Report writing, Operation and Maintenance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Capacity Needs Assessment, Gender, Budgeting, and review of Town Work plans drawn in the previous training.

Sanitation training is also conducted for community leaders and beneficiaries of household Eco-san demonstration toilets. These are expected to disseminate the information and knowledge received in training to the entire community.

The community undergoes another kind of training for operation and maintenance. The community here is trained on scheme management, book keeping and elementary financial management skills. This is to prepare them for scheme operation and maintenance.

  • Gender training:

In the gender roles analysis, communities are trained to adopt the fact that water and sanitation activities are every one’s role irrespective of sex. Women, who are charged with the responsibility pertaining to water drawing and consumption in the homes, are usually left out when planning for such activities. In these trainings however, they are encouraged to actively participate in water and sanitation activities by taking up leading positions in water and sanitation committees. In so doing, they are empowered to make decisions for their water supply and sanitation systems.

  • Masons training:

In each community of operation, community members are required to identify two masons who are required to undergo training for construction and management of ecological sanitation toilets. This is done to promote the technology at community level. Individuals who want the toilets constructed in their homes can easily access the technical skills from the trained masons.


The Water and Sanitation Development Facility is managed as a component of the Joint Partnership Fund (JPF) and its Program Management Committee (PMC). The rules on financial management, reporting, auditing, etc, follow the regulations of the JPF. The Facility Manager reports to the JPF component Manager and to the project steering committee that oversees the facility.

The PMC meets on a quarterly basis to among other things review plans and progress and ensure that the Facility’s expenditures are in line with the JPF guidelines. It is comprised of Component Managers, DWD officials, Technical Advisors, as well as the Development Partners contributing to the JPF.

The Project Steering Committee for the WSDF-SW oversees implementation and ensures overall guidance and direction of the Facility. Decisions of the Steering Committee are implemented by WSDF-SW team headed By a Manager. The Steering Committee is composed of representatives from the Development Partners, Directorate of Water Development, District representatives, and representatives from the Water User Committees (WSC, WSSB) and from WSDF-SW. The Steering Committee reports to the Program Management Committee.


Elements of the implementation process include; mobilization, technical design, construction, and supervision are either tendered out to the private sector or implemented “in-house” depending on complexity. Procurements are handled by a delegated Procurement unit of the WSDF-SW.




To contact us please use the details below:


P. O. BOX 575 Mbarara

Plot 1, Mbarara – Kabale Road

Located Between Uganda Police and High Court

Tel/Fax: 0485 420368