Like a tiny unseen embryo in an egg to an undeniable presence of a chick, is the growth in the contribution to the development of WSU from infancy in 2007 to a formidable force in WASH in Uganda by Eawag..
Following funding of the 1st ever international Sodis workshop in Africa in April 2007, Eawag contributed 50% of the 3 year project in Kisoro which was primarily an introduction of Sodis into Uganda in partnership with WSU starting in October 2007. The shaping of WSU was comprehensive including thorough project Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning use of lessons learnt to get sustainability as well as up scaling.
To date Eawag has handed over SODIS to Swiss NGO that markets it as a business but the bond with WSU stands strong. This bond led to the registration of the first ever water Program of Activities in Africa which was targeting use of Gravity Driven Membrane (GDM) at household level. However, WSU being closed to pilot the use of GDM at institutional level through 3 schools in Eastern Uganda. The success of scientific testing of various aspects of the program including socio- economic interactions with the new technology is setting WSU a class apart in WASH interventions.
From seemingly small factors like the effect of recontamination of jerry cans in the safe water chain to macro-economic issues on how to mobilize, organize and sustain community led income generation from a safe water business across villages have been undertaken.
In partnership with the education departments, the introduction of teaching WASH in primary schools as part of the school curriculum has been piloted. This is a very strategic entry point in raising a generation of people that will view WASH as a serious matter beyond personal and community development but as a driving force for national transformation. After all, it is widely understood that a holistically healthy people will engage in a healthy manner in a potentially hazardous environment and change it into a safe haven.
Thus the partnership between Eawag and WSU has far reaching implications on the posterity of Uganda. It is far beyond money. Indeed it is a safe water for life and generations to come.