Uganda Tries to Clean Up

Uganda is in a sanitation crisis, one that affects the country's health in the most fundamental ways. One consequence is that thousands of people suffer from schistosomiasis, a neglected disease that affects the poor. It is directly related to Uganda's poor sanitation — about two-thirds of the populace does not have access to improved sanitation facilities.

Professor Alan Fenwick, a leading researcher, believes that schistosomiasis "will disappear from this planet when every one has access to water and sanitation." Fenwick runs the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, which has worked in Uganda for 13 years. The SCI is based in Imperial College London — the program has been voted one of the most effective charities in the world. Now SCI is working with the government and taking a new approach, with intensive treatment for two or three years to try to reach elimination.

Meanwhile, international aid agencies and development banks are working with government to expand the sewer systems, while NGOs are working with local entrepreneurs as well as international companies to find ways to make the existing pit latrines safe and sanitary.

Uganda's (Preventable) Mess

Uganda suffers from a sanitation crisis, as many villagers nor the urban poor have access to toilets. An estimated 75% of the country's disease burden is linked to poor sanitation and hygiene.

Uganda: Fresh Water in a Village Called Death

Getting water to poor communities may sound straightforward: dig a well, put in a pump and hand out water filters. But as many NGOs and aid agencies have found, it is a lot more complicated than that.