The physical environment
Fortunately, Uganda has a plentiful supply of water some
15 per cent of the country is water! Lake Victoria, the second largest
freshwater lake in the world, is shared between Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Situated on the equator, rainfall is generally high, averaging from 500 to more
than 1600 mm per year. However, seasonal and spatial variability of water
resources causes specific problems. Political conflicts are emerging between
upstream and downstream users. Locally, upstream riparians may use water in ways
making, for instance, water quality unsuitable for downstream users.
Internationally, in the context of the Nile Basin, Lake Victoria and the River
Nile are finite shared resources and the projected demands of the riparian
nations may well exceed the resource.
The provision of safe water was a major concern and with it the
closely related issue of sanitation. At the end of the 1980s, the incidence of
water-borne diseases was on the increase. Epidemics of typhoid, cholera and
dysentery were becoming common place. According to out-patient records from
1990, mortality in under five's due to water-borne diseases was prevalent.7
Uganda's health system was unable to cope. There was an urgent need to
improve the rural population's access to safe drinking water and their
sanitation practices for better health and general