Clean Water Filters for Schools, Health Centers and Refugee Settlements in Uganda
Impact Projects

Clean Water Filters for Schools, Health Centers and Refugee Settlements in Uganda

World Centric + SPOUTS Impact

$137,324.00 from profits from fiscal year 2019

Over 20 million Ugandans have no access to clean water and waterborne diseases are the #2 cause of death for children under five. This issue, which is one of the most prominent challenges Ugandans face each day, results in many negative health, social, economic, and environmental consequences. The responsibility of collecting water falls mostly on Ugandan women and children, taking away valuable time that could be spent earning money or going to school. Many people rely on firewood to purify their water through boiling, contributing to the rapid deforestation of Uganda and increasing CO2 emissions.

SPOUTS Impact distributes ceramic water filter as an affordable, effective, sustainable, and easy to use solution for providing safe, pure water to Ugandans. Purifaaya water filters are produced with clay locally sourced in Uganda. It is mixed with water before being pressed to form a pot that is the filter. It is then placed in a bucket with a spicket. The Purifaaya lasts 2 years and costs 25 USD, making it the most affordable solution to safe water access in Uganda households.

With profits from 2019, World Centric funded 4 projects for SPOUTS Impact:

  • Filters for 3 rural health centers and 2 school districts
    According to the 2005 Joint Report on School Health in Uganda by the Ministries of Health and Education, less than 50% of the schools in Uganda provide boiled or chlorinated water for drinking. Statistics further show that only 46% of schools in the country have safe water supply sources in the form of piped water, boreholes or protected springs within the school compound. This leaves the majority of children to fend for themselves by drinking water from unprotected sources. Due to COVID-19, SPOUTS Impact will install the filters in the health centers first and provide a train-the-trainer program to the staff so that they can train the parents and children in the community on filter usage. Filters will be installed in the schools once they reopen.
  • Filters for Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement - Phase 2 (World Centric funded Phase 1 last year)
    Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement is located in the Kamwenge district in Southwestern Uganda. It was opened in 1964 to host refugees from Rwanda and closed when most refugees repatriated. It was reopened in 2012 to host refugees that fled the Democratic Republic of Congo due to violence in the North and South Kivu regions. To date, it hosts over 70,000 refugees and is managed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Uganda Office of the Prime Minister (OPM). Services to the refugees within the settlement are provided by implementing partners, primarily Africa Humanitarian Action, African Initiative for Relief Development, Windle Charitable Trust and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

    In a baseline study conducted by SPOUTS in 2019, it was found that more than 53% of the population does not treat their drinking water before consumption. Moreover, the 47% who occasionally treat their drinking water, mainly boil it using firewood and charcoal, which contributes to deforestation and environmental degradation. During the survey, 168 cases of diarrhea, 92 cases of Typhoid and 11 cases of Bilharzia were reported.
  • Filters for Kyangwali Refugee Settlement - Phase 2 (World Centric funded Phase 1 last year)
    Kyangwali Refugee Settlement is located in western Uganda in the Hoima district near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It occupies approximately 142 sq. km, with six zones, each with over 30 villages. Currently it is home to over 97,500 refugees, mainly from the DRC but also from South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda, among others.

    A 2018 baseline survey indicated 75% of the population does not treat their drinking water, 25% boil water using firewood & charcoal at a weekly cost of $1.69 per household. The difficulty in treating drinking water combined with poor sanitation and hygiene has resulted in the outbreak of waterborne diseases, the most recent one being Ebola. By the time of the survey, 11% of the children and 13% of the adults in the survey group were suffering from diarrhea or Typhoid respectively.
  • SPOUTS Community Impact Study
    This grant allows SPOUTS Impact to conduct a comprehensive impact assessment in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement. The goal is to investigate what impact the SPOUTS Purifaaya water filters are having on the environment, public health, and consumer livelihood. The resulting report will be used for programming decisions in 3 key areas - health changes in waterborne infection, community economic & quality of life, & community shift from boiling.

The Impact

  • 4,500 household filters.
  • 175 XL filters for community buildings.
  • Access to clean water for 32,750 people.
  • WASH training for beneficiaries.

Indirect Impacts:

  • Increase in household savings from money no longer needed to purchase fuel to boil water (saving roughly $680 per household).
  • Ecological benefit from shifting from charcoal/wood burning to ceramic filtration. Carbon emission reduction estimated at 135,512 metric tons.
  • Increase in health due to access to clean water (85% reduction in cases of diarrhea and typhoid)

About SPOUTS of Water

A World Centric partner since 2017.

When Kathy Ku spent a summer in Uganda she was struck by the lack of access to safe water. Convinced change was necessary, she teamed up with fellow Harvard student John Kye to form SPOUTS of Water in 2012. SPOUTS aims to provide 5 million Ugandans, or 14% of the population, with access to safe water by 2025, 10 years after their first Purifaaya sale. This would represent a fundamental shift in the way Ugandans approach water purification and would save thousands of lives, primarily of children.


Written by

World Centric


Read time

5 minutes


Published on

Jul 16, 2020


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