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Mapping a Healthier Future

How Spatial Analysis Can Guide Pro-Poor Water and Sanitation Planning in Uganda

This report presents maps and analyses designed to inform the policies surrounding poverty reduction efforts in Uganda and to help reach the 2015 national targets on safe drinking water and improved sanitation.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

Improving water supply, sanitation, and hygiene is central to Uganda’s successful development. Such measures would affect all Ugandans and are important to every sector of the economy, but they are particularly relevant to the poor. The availability of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, and basic hygiene can improve health, lower mortality rates, and increase work and educational achievements. In particular, better sanitation and handwashing are among the most effective means to reduce morbidity and mortality from diarrheal diseases, which disproportionately affect the poor.

The central role of safe water and sanitation in addressing poverty in Uganda is reflected in national policy. The national framework for poverty eradication highlights the links between water, sanitation, and poverty reduction efforts. To implement the plans and policies related to safe drinking water coverage, Uganda’s policy-makers have established ambitious targets for 2015. As a result, the government and development partners have made large investments in the water sector, and signifi cant pro-poor benefi ts have been achieved. However, much work still remains to be done in order to ensure safe drinking water access and basic sanitation across Uganda.

One of the premises of the current report is that assuring future pro-poor benefits from water and sanitation investments will require more detailed poverty information. This is where maps such as those introduced in this publication can be helpful to decision-makers. Detailed information on the location of poor communities can help decisionmakers target these vulnerable areas for investment, thereby improving health while keeping implementation costs reasonable.

One of the principal challenges in planning and implementing effective pro-poor interventions in water and sanitation is coordinating multiple actors across many sectors and using many different data sets. This report offers new tools to meet this challenge. Examining subcounties in Uganda that have fallen behind in reaching 2015 targets, the report illustrates how integrating various spatial and demographic data on poverty, water, and sanitation can strengthen efforts to promote health. Stand-alone water supply interventions have less impact on health outcomes than well-coordinated interventions that improve water supply, sanitation infrastructure, and hygiene behavior simultaneously.

The unique information presented in this report is critical to achieving greater results and identifying additional pro-poor interventions to reach Uganda’s 2015 national targets. To this end, the authors identify the types of analyses available to Ugandan stakeholders, in order to encourage readers to develop their own poverty, water, and sanitation maps.

Table of Contents

  • Mapping a Healthier Future: How Spatial Analysis Can Guide Pro-Poor Water and Sanitation Planning in Uganda presents maps and analyses designed to inform the policies surrounding poverty reduction efforts in Uganda and to help reach the 2015 national targets on safe drinking water and improved sanitation.

  • Introduction: gives an overview of the links between water issues and poverty and sets the Ugandan policy context for pro-poor water and sanitation interventions.

  • Safe Drinking Water Coverage and Poverty: provides an overview of the national pattern of safe drinking water coverage; introduces a series of maps linking this subject to poverty rates to illustrate how poverty maps can inform future investments in safe drinking water infrastructure in order to make them more pro-poor.

  • Improved Sanitation, Hygiene, and Poverty: takes an in-depth look at policies and concerns surrounding sanitation and hygiene. Maps are included showing location-specific indicators of sanitation and hygiene coverage and poverty to help guide the discussion on resource allocation. Conclusions and Recommendations: summarizes observations from the map analyses and proposes recommendations for decision-makers regarding poverty reduction and water supply, sanitation, and hygiene in Uganda and in other developing countries.

Audience and Aims

This report is intended for technical and high-level officers working both on poverty issues and in health and water departments at national and local levels.

  • For decision-makers concerned with reducing poverty, the report demonstrates how comparing levels of poverty in a location with maps of access to safe drinking water, enhanced sanitation facilities, hygiene behavior, and other environmental health indicators can inform strategies to fight poverty.
  • For decision-makers in the water and health sector, the publication shows how information on the location and severity of poverty can assist in setting priorities for interventions and how to integrate data sets about water supply, sanitation infrastructure, and hygiene behavior to support coordinated interventions.

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