Uganda Safe Water Coverage

Rural safe water coverage as defined by the Directorate of Water Development, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda.

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Rural safe water coverage as defined by the Directorate of Water Development, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda.

Data used in maps 3, 4, 5, 6 of ""Mapping a Healthier Future: How Spatial Analysis Can Guide Pro-Poor Water and Sanitation Planning in Uganda."" from Health Planning Department, Ministry of Health, Uganda; Directorate of Water Development, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda; Uganda Bureau of Statistics; International Livestock Research Institute; and World Resources Institute. 2009.

The Directorate of Water Development (DWD) is using proxy measures to estimate access to safe drinking water supplies in Uganda. The existing data collection and monitoring eff orts do not permit DWD to physically measure for the whole country the percentage of people within 1.5 kilometers (rural areas) and 0.2 kilometers (urban areas) of an improved water source. For rural areas, DWD assumes a fi xed number of users per source as follows: protected spring (200 persons), shallow well with hand pump (300 persons), deep borehole with hand pump (300 persons), gravity flow scheme or other piped water supply tap (150 persons), and rain water harvesting tank (3 persons for a tank of less than 10,000 liters and 6 persons for a tank greater than 10,000 liters).

DWD relies on an inventory of existing safe drinking water sources (based on a national survey and annual reporting) to calculate for each subcounty the total number of people served by all the improved sources. This number is then divided by the total subcounty population (as projected by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics) to obtain the share of the subcounty population with access to an improved water source. DWD caps each subcounty share at a maximum coverage rate of 95 percent to ensure that no subcounty is serving more people than its total population. Coverage rates shown in this publication assume that all sources are fully functional.


The current method of estimating access to improved rural water supplies at subcounty level--assuming a fixed number of users per source and fully functional sources -- results in a best case scenario of safe drinking water access. It is a useful approach to gauge national and district progress, especially when coverage rates are low. This approach becomes more problematic, however, once administrative areas have achieved higher coverage rates and planners are in need of more precise information. For example, the subcounty average may still be an overestimate for parts of a subcounty because well-served areas within a subcounty can compensate for poorly served areas. The results would be more accurate and better refl ect the situation on the ground if the analysis were undertaken at parish or even village level.

Dataset is not for use in litigation. While efforts have been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the state of the art, WRI cannot assume liability for any damages, or misrepresentations, caused by any inaccuracies in the data, or as a result of the data to be used on a particular system. WRI makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.


DIRECTORATE OF WATER DEVELOPMENT (DWD), MINISTRY OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENT. 2008. Safe Drinking Water Coverage Rate Data for Rural Subcounties 2008. Kampala, Uganda: Government of Uganda, DWD.

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License: Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)


Project: Ecosystem Service Mapping

Page Last Updated: August 19, 2016

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