February 24, 2011 17:03 ET

Harper Government Helping Improve Water in Uganda

BURLINGTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 24, 2011) - Today, Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced support for a water and sanitation project in 10 northern Ugandan communities. Access to clean, potable water has been a challenge for thousands of Ugandan for decades. This project, to be implemented by Crossroads Christian Communications Inc., will improve access to clean water by providing needed basic sanitation infrastructure and increasing community water management skills and sanitation knowledge.

"Thousands in developing countries do not have access to potable water. I have witnessed women and girls walking many kilometres to fill large containers with clean water for their families," said Minister Oda. "This project will benefit over 500,000 people and improve their health and well-being by reducing their risks of death and disease caused by water-borne diseases."

"Girls and women walk several kilometres twice a day, and wait several hours, for water," said Mr. Wallace. "By reducing that time, this initiative will allow girls the chance to attend school, and women the chance to provide additional income and care for their families."

The Canadian International Development Agency will provide $500,000 to improve access to clean water, upgrade sanitation services for marginalized communities, and improve public awareness of health issues related to water.



Africa remains one of Canada's top priorities for humanitarian assistance and foreign development. The Harper Government is committed to delivering on international efforts it spearheaded under the Muskoka Initiative from 2010's G8 and G20 summits.

Following the 2008 peace agreement that ended more than 20 years of civil war in Northern Uganda, approximately 600,000 displaced people returned to their native villages to rebuild their lives. Lack of access to safe potable water has historically caused Ugandans, primarily women and girls, to walk between two and six kilometres to fetch water, twice a day. The unrest and displacement caused by the civil war has also resulted in a lack of basic knowledge and understanding of health and sanitation issues.

CIDA's funding for this project, to be implemented by Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. (CCCI), will benefit more than 500,000 people living in the Northern Uganda region. The project will:

  • Improve access to clean water in high need communities.

  • Improve basic sanitation infrastructure and practices locally.

  • Improve the capacity of community members in water management.

  • Empower communities with knowledge on health issues related to water.

Improving access to clean water and proper sanitation facilities will contribute to securing a better future for Ugandan children and youth by preventing water-borne diseases that are major causes of death and sickness in children. 

This project will build on past CIDA-supported CCCI initiatives in Africa.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Justin Broekema
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office