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Uganda, 7 May 2015: Students create innovative water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to local problems in Acholi sub-region

7 May 2015, KAMPALA, Uganda – Students from Makerere, Aalto and Helsinki Universities are developing innovations jointly with school children to address Water, sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) challenges in select schools in the Acholi sub-region of Northern Uganda, under the UniWASH project.

Launched in 2014, the project commenced with a Situation Analysis by a joint team from Makerere and Helsinki Universities, to identify WASH issues in selected schools and control schools. Three school, namely Purongo Hill in Nwoya District, Pabo in Amuru District and Lacekocot in Pader District, were selected, having scored low on all WASH indicators.

Since then, the students have worked with the children, parents, teachers, communities and the Private Sector to design local solutions to address WASH challenges in the schools, and to contribute to the overall project goal of ensuring that girls’ and boys’ right to clean and adequate sanitation and hygiene conditions in the Acholi sub-region, are fulfilled.

Investments in WASH have a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of the population, while the World Bank Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) 2012, estimates that Uganda loses 389 billion Uganda Shillings (about USD$130.5m) which is equivalent to 1.1% of GDP every year due to poor sanitation.

In addition, increased investments in WASH, address water and sanitation-related illnesses like diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis that kill hundreds, especially children, who are most vulnerable. Improved WASH in schools also translates into increased enrollment and attendance rates.

Under this innovative public, private and academia (UniWASH) partnership, UNICEF, academia, private Sector, children and communities are developing innovative WASH solutions that will improve the lives and wellbeing of the most disadvantaged children, as well as ensure that more and more children in Northern Uganda, enroll and complete school.

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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information, please contact:

In UNICEF, Proscovia Nakibuuka Mbonye, + 256 417 171 000,

In Makerere University, Richard Kabiito, +256 772 843884, and Betty Kyakuwa, +256 772 697 500,



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