KAMPALA — After gaining independence from Britain as a protectorate, Uganda has faced prolonged periods of conflict. Fortunately, Uganda now sees gradual progress towards a sustainable nation for its people and future. With key development projects in Uganda, the country is sure to head towards stability and sustainability.
One of the development projects in Uganda is infrastructure development, which plays a crucial role in Uganda’s economic growth and prosperity. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government in Uganda is working to re-establish itself as a middle-income status country. One of the focuses for infrastructure development is building hydropower plants, safe road networks as well as the development of oil fields. Investing in oil fields alongside oil companies places Uganda in the international market.
The Ugandan Water Project aims to provide clean water and promote sanitation and hygiene resources throughout Uganda. With 74 projects in 2017, clean water and sanitation were supplied to 22,000 Ugandans. A rainwater collection system was established to provide clean water via a gutter system. So far lasting for about 30 years, the rainwater system uses Uganda’s annual rainfall to the advantage of the people; this is one of the development projects in Uganda making the best progress.
Disaster preparedness and coordination is essential in facing increasing vulnerabilities and disasters. According to the Red Cross, to combat natural disasters, a systematic disaster prevention system must be put in place as a framework for the country. Policy actions for droughts, a prolonged issue due to climate change, includes establishing efficient tools for weather predictions and alerting communities of severe weather warnings. Increasing community awareness of conserving water and working with drought-resistant crops illustrates the importance of community action.
In 2014, Uganda launched a National Emergency Coordination and Operation Centre (NECOC) to provide the early warnings and coordinate emergency relief and readiness. Countless lives will be saved with proper funding and support. Protecting and empowering communities to adapt and recover from natural disasters is a key component in maintaining disaster readiness, allowing people to take charge alongside their government.
Maternal Health Development
Like many developing countries, Uganda has seen high maternal mortality rates, a reflection of inaccessible and understaffed healthcare. World Bank illustrates the progress on maternal health, stating that about 95 percent of Ugandan women now receive antenatal care. In fact, about 57 percent are under the supervision of a professional during delivery.
To combat complications of pregnancy and delivery, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) seeks to address cultural barriers and overall maternal health. Family planning for unintended pregnancies, skilled midwives and professionals available at delivery and advocating women’s rights are included in the strategy of reducing the mortality rate among women. Promoting maternal health as an important measure for both mother and child is slowly progressing as more rural women in Uganda receive proper care and understand antenatal and prenatal care.
Established in 1995, the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) aims to protect and promote the fundamental rights and freedoms of Ugandans. The UHRC serves as a critical player in building and maintaining a culture of human rights in Uganda. This development project acts as a channel between communities and government in the push for human rights and addressing human rights abuse.
The UHRC works alongside NGOs in monitoring activities and meeting the needs of Ugandans with education and community advocacy. USAID adds that Uganda is working towards a responsive and accountable government that increases citizen participation by passing laws, such as human rights, to the forefront of politics. Increasing citizen participation and communication between government ensures a group, marginalized or not, has a voice in building a democratic country. The need for inclusivity in Uganda’s approach for a civil society benefits the country in the long run — communities the work alongside their government with legitimate legal structures have more transparency and accountability.
Sanitation Development Projects
The goal of the Uganda Sanitation Fund (USF) is to use and develop sanitation and hygiene resources to reduce sanitation-related disease and death. The program intends to target 5.6 million people, ensuring people live in Open Defecation Free (ODF) environments as well as adopting hygienic practices.
The Uganda Red Cross Society established the WASH project, a program to assist Ugandans in securing proper living conditions with access to sanitation and hygiene. Displaced families and communities and people affected by violence are the recipients receiving aid from Uganda Red Cross and their WASH project. Intervention, in the form of sanitation kits, is distributed to families in teaching them how to improve their health. Promoting the programs is also aimed at rural areas, as hygiene and sanitation are often inaccessible. The WASH project will be monitored by the Uganda Red Cross to accommodate and assign proper staff, interventions and access to all Ugandans.
These five development projects in Uganda are working to improve the lives of Ugandans. The projects, while not the only ones in development, are some of the answers to bring Uganda out of conflict and poverty.
– Jennifer Serrato