Lifewater Results in Mayuge, Uganda

In the landlocked African country of Uganda, over 77% of the population lacks access to basic sanitation and hygiene, and over 44% lack basic access to water. Mothers with young children, school-aged children, the elderly, and people with disabilities struggle to make the journey to safe water sources. But we can make a difference; one village at a time.

Lifewater staff began working in target communities in Mayuge, a region of Uganda chosen for it’s rural communities and low water coverage, in January of 2019. At the start of the project, only 28% of people washed their hands with soap or ash and water before eating and after using the bathroom in the previous 24 hours. Read the full report to see the dramatic change in hygiene behavior.

Between January 2019 and March 2022, Lifewater staff served 20,688 people with safe water, sanitation, and hygiene. Following program completion, staff conducted surveys and focus group discussions to measure WASH progress in the area.



Mayuge, Uganda Water and Sanitation Results

72 percent decrease in the prevalence of childhood diarrhea

UNICEF reports that 480,000 children under the age of five die each year due to diarrheal disease, a disease primarily prevented with simple sanitation, hygiene, and safe water access. Globally, this makes diarrheal disease the second leading cause of death for children under the age of five.

Before Lifewater programs, almost one-third of the population in Mayuge had a child ill from diarrhea. After Lifewater’s time in the village, the total amount dropped to just eight percent. That’s a 72 percent decrease in childhood diarrhea.

“Diseases like diarrhea are almost no more because all children now drink safe water, there is proper disposal of children feces in the latrine.”


7,500 percent increase in homes using latrines that are “improved with dignity”

Building and using a bathroom is critical to health. When people use open fields or forests to defecate, health deteriorates. This is especially harmful when those same families depend on surface water sources for drinking water; rains wash everything from surrounding fields into water sources like ponds or rivers.

Using a pour-flush latrine separates people from feces, drastically decreasing waterborne diseases and improving health.

A bathroom that is considered “improved with dignity” is one that has four walls, a roof, a slab (floor), and a door. Before Lifewater programs, only 0.5 percent of families had a latrine improved with dignity. Afterwards, 38 percent did.

“Sanitation and hygiene has greatly improved and there are no feces in the open [in] the communities.”


Nearly every person with access to safe water

With access to safe water, families in the countries we serve gain time and opportunities that were previously impossible. In our work at Lifewater we see women in particular benefit, for with water nearby they regain and repurpose the hours spent on long journeys for water. Many women report successful entrepreneurial pursuits with this new time and energy. Families also have agricultural endeavors like farms and livestock that become significantly more profitable with an adequate water supply.

Before Lifewater programs, the median total time spent fetching water was 120 minutes. Afterwards, the median total time plummeted to only 25 minutes.

“Waiting time taken on a water point significantly reduced. This has given ample time to families to concentrate in their gardens thus the high yields during harvest.”

In Mayuge, Uganda, female students have a greater sense of confidence and families are living healthy lives because of the generosity of Lifewater donors, because of prayers heard and answered, and because of the hard work that communities themselves put into achieving improved and lasting health.

Get the full report by downloading below, and see how safe water and newfound health are bringing hope to communities in need.


Choose a Village. Change a Life.