Concept Note for UWEWK 2018


1.0        BACKGROUND   

The Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) in collaboration with key partners plans to hold the first ever Uganda Water  and Environment Week (UWEWK) at  the Directorate of Water Resources Management (DWRM) of MWE in Entebbe from 17tn – 23rd March 2018.. The event will coincide with the annual commemoration of three important International Days: World Forest Day 21st March, World Water Day of 22nd March and World Meteorological Day 23rd March 2018  the World Water Day from 17- 22 March 2018.  

The event, dubbed as the “Uganda Water and Environment  Week 2018” (UWEWK2018) will build on the foundation and principles of the World Water Week (WWWK), an  annual event celebrated in Sweden since 1991 by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), one of the world’s leading water institutes.

This global event has captured the interest of many countries that have gone ahead to organize it as a national event. Notable among these include the United States of America (USA), Germany, United Kingdom (UK) and India. In East Africa, Kenya organized its first inaugural and successful annual Kenya Water Week (KEWAWK) in November 2016 that carried the theme from “Aid to Trade”.

The proposed event is remarkably linked to Uganda’s national development strategy, the National Development Plan II (NDP II), which focuses on achieving structural transformation through increased industrial activity, with emphasis on manufacturing, including value addition in agro-processing. According to a study by Industrial Economics (2016) on the contribution of water resources development and environmental management to Uganda’s economy; meeting Uganda’s Vision 2040 growth targets will require tripling of reliable water deliveries relative to today’s levels, which will require heavy investments in environmental management and water resources. The study observes that if water for manufacturing is limited because of poor management, 2040 Gross Domestic Products (GDP) could decline by five percent. As Uganda seeks to industrialize and meet national development goals, water management will be critical to ensure steady growth of the manufacturing, agricultural and service sectors.

Given the importance of water resources, the event will contribute towards attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets that aim at improving water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, and halving the proportion of untreated wastewater by 2030.

A wide range of water and environment stakeholders are expected to attend the event, including policy makers, technocrats, academicians, public and private sector institutions, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations and consumers.

It is envisaged that public awareness on water and environment resources for growth and development will be increased; adoption of Integrated Water Resources Management in Uganda for the last 25 years will be celebrated; and the Water Resources Institute in Entebbe will be launched.  

Under the theme: Water and Environment a Catalyst for Achieving Middle Income Status 2020;  eight sub-themes will be elaborated, including:

a.       Catchment management and Integrated water resources management; ?

b.      Water and sanitation development;

c.       Wastewater and pollution management;

d.      Environment  and natural resources;  

e.       Sustainable forest management

f.        Weather and Climate Change

g.       Water – energy - food - ecosystem nexus; and  

h.      Stakeholder engagement and water and environment sector financing.

The Uganda Water Week therefore provides an open and dynamic platform for key stakeholders and participants to enhance their capacity; form smart, viable and sustainable partnerships; and review water sector implementation; thereby advancing the cause for national water, environment, sanitation, livelihood improvement and poverty reduction agenda. It will further provide an opportunity for participants to exchange views and experiences; dialogue and network; foster new thinking; and benchmark on the best practices in the water sector and develop solutions to the most pressing water related challenges facing us today. Critically, it will provide an opportunity to identify potential partners to increase water sector financing and ensure that the Uganda Water Week becomes an integral part of the budget framework within the Ministry of Water and Environment.   


Water is a unique resource on surface and underground, which has no substitute. It is finite and scarce, a key strategic resource for development and has no value in social, economic, and environmental contexts. It impacts on all aspects of the economy, life, and the environment. It defines growth and sustainable development. However, poor water management contributes to diseases, malnutrition, reduced economic growth, and water insecurity that causes social instability, conflicts and environmental disaster. A good understanding of how water resources work and are vulnerable to environment change is essential for informed decision making.

Uganda’s fresh water resources are considered to be key strategic resource, vital for sustaining life, promoting development and maintaining the environment. Access to clean and safe water and improved sanitation facilities and practices are pre-requisites to a health population and therefore have a direct impact on the quality of life and productivity of the population. Besides domestic water supply, water is also vital for livestock, water supply, industrial water supply, hydropower generation, agriculture, marine transport, fisheries, waste discharge, tourism, and environmental conservation.

Effective water and environmental management are therefore critical to achieve Uganda’s short and long term development goals. A study by Industrial Economics (2016) on economic value of water resources and environment in Uganda indicates that 48 percent of agricultural sector and 34 percent of manufacturing sector respectively depend on water resources. The study further observed that without proper investment in water management and distribution, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could suffer significantly; and insufficient investment in water management will have much more dramatic effects on specific water dependent activities in the agricultural, manufacturing and service sector. With a 50 percent reduction in water availability, the GDP will decline by 43 percent from livestock; 56 percent from meat, fish and dairy production; and 67 percent from hotels and catering.

Worth noting is that Uganda’s rivers and lakes cover about 15 percent, 3 percent permanent wetlands, 9.4 percent seasonal wetlands of the total surface area of the country, with rainfall (MA rainfall 600-2500mm) being the greatest contributor to the surface and ground water resource serving a population of approximately 40 million people that grows at an average rate of 3.4 percent, the 4th highest in the Sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNBS the population is predicted to stay high with a projected rate of 2.36 percent by 2030.  

Based on the projected population growth, the total renewable water resource of the country per capita is expected to drop to 1,072m2 per year by 2030 on the brink of the regime of water scarcity – especially in arid and semi-arid regions.

However, with ever increasing pressure on water and the environment resources due to rapid population growth and increased demand for their  use; the situation has further worsened and remains a big challenge to the sustainable management and development of Uganda’s fresh water resources. Coping with these challenges, calls for advanced technological development and innovation, not least for wastewater treatment, cleaner production and reuse and resource recovery technologies, as well as changes in production and consumption patterns set in a proper policy and governance framework.

3.0       OVERALL GOAL  

The overall goal of the Uganda Water and Environment Week 2018 is to contribute to the national development goals through effective management of water and environment resources and distribution for sustainable socio-economic development of Uganda. 

4.0       OBJECTIVES

The objectives of Uganda Water and Environment Week 2018 are therefore to:

a)       Increase public awareness on water and environment  resources for growth and development;

b)      Celebrate 25 years of adoption of Integrated Water Resources Management in Uganda;

c)       Launch Water Resources Institute in Entebbe

d)      Showcase recent innovations, technologies and developments in the water and environment sector for efficient water and environment  service delivery;

e)       Explore business opportunities and trends in the water and environment  sector;

f)       Provide a forum for exchange of ideas for long term business partnerships in the water  and environment sector;

g)      Identify potential partners to increase water and environment sector financing. 


At the end of Uganda Water and Environment Week 2018, it is expected that

a)       Public knowledge on water and environment resources for growth and development will be improved;

b)      Adoption of Integrated Water Resources Management in Uganda celebrated;

c)       Water Resources Institute in Entebbe launched;

d)      Recent innovations, technologies and developments in the water and environment sector showcased;

e)       Business opportunities and trends in the water and environment sector explored;

f)       Platforms for exchange of ideas for long term partnerships and networks established;

g)      Potential partners to increase sector financing identified; and

h)      Uganda Water and Environment Week integrated within the budget framework of the Ministry of Water and Environment.     


The proposed activities are categorized into three (a) Pre-event activities (Build-up activities), (b) During event activities; and (c) Post-event activities. These activities are planned in such a way that they will help generate the much needed publicity and visibility about the Water and Environment Week. The pre-event activities will last for two days and then, cascades into the actual event, which will last for fourdays. However the overall publicity campaign about the water and environment week will start a month earlier to the proposed event.

6.1        Pre-event /Build- up Activities (Two Days)

a)       Kampala Capital City will be cleaned as part of Sanitation Week on 17 March 2018;

b)      Meanwhile the Marathon titled: Run for Water and Environment  will take place on 18 March 2018;

c)       Publicity campaigns, including use of both print and electronic media, social media platforms and promotional materials (banners, brochures, leaflets) as well as caravan will start a month earlier to the event; and

d)      Lake cruise/boat ride will be arranged on Lake Victoria for selected guests.

6.2       During Event Activities (Fourdays)

a)       Exhibitions and side events will be staged by public and private sector institutions, academia, Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations/ Non-Governmental Organizations and others;   

b)      Keynote speeches will be delivered by leading personalities;

c)       Paper and posters will be presented by different scholars and technocrats;

d)      Parallel sessions on various thematic areas/ topics will be held for different categories of participants;  

e)       High level panel discussions with top notch moderator will be held to articulate policy directives and consideration on water and environment resources management for achieving economic growth targets;  

f)       Applied training on relevant key topics will be carried out;

g)       Commemoration of three International days: World Forest Day 21st March, World Water Day of 22nd March and World Meteorological Day 23rd March 2018.

h)      Outstanding personalities and contributors to the water and environment sector will be presented with awards;

i)        Uganda Water Resources Institute (UWRI) will be launched;

j)        Daily brief or newsletter about the event will be developed and circulated to update participants;

k)      A media hub will be established for accreditation of the press, coordination of the press conferences and provision of updates about the event;

l)        Guests and participants will be entertained through school performances, including poetry, songs and other forms of entertainment.

6.3       Post Event Activities

The proposed post event activities will include: 1 day field visit to selected sites within and around Kampala to provide practical demonstration of the Applied training concepts, preparation of evaluation report; conference proceedings; media conversations/ follow up media stories; notification of members; development of guidelines for similar events in future based on lessons learned.


The celebration to mark the first ever Uganda Water  and Environment Week 2018 will be open to the General Public, including key water and environment sector players, high level government officials right from the  Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and the Members of Parliament as well as members of the Diplomatic corp, public and private sector institutions, Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Charity Organizations, International Community Organizations, Learning Institutions, Media  and all Agencies directly or indirectly dealing with water sanitation and environment resources,. Close to 100 organizations are expected to exhibit some of the latest innovations, technologies, processes, products and initiatives in the water sector. Additionally, an estimated 10 schools within Kampala and neighboring districts are expected to participate in a number of activities, including quiz, drama, skits, poems and essay competitions, where the winners will receive several accolades and recognitions. It is estimated that there will be around 2000 walk ins per day.


The Ministry of Water and Environment will organize the Uganda Water and Environment Week 2018  which will oversee the overall preparation and execution of the event. However for effective coordination and management of the event; the MWE will work closely with various partners, including relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as private sector institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including the Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET), Water for People (WFP), Energy without Borders Foundation (EWBF) and IRC International Water and International Water and Sanitation Centre.  



The proposed sources of funding for the Uganda Water Week 2018 are the Government of Uganda (GoU) and Strategic Partners. The organizers will seek to work with partners to raise approximately UGX UgX 766,920,000 (Seven hundred sixty –six million nine hundred twenty thousand only) is planned for the event, covering costs of Kampala clean up exercise, water run, conference facilities, field trips, launch of the Water Resources Institute (WRI), school engagements, commemoration of three international days: World Forest Day 21st March, World Water Day of 22nd March and World Meteorological Day 23rd March 2018, entertainment, printing and publications, publicity and communication, and overall conference preparation.

A detailed budget is attached as Annex 1. 


Partners will be sought and considered as Co- Conveners, Key Sponsors and Sponsors, depending on their contribution to the event.  As sponsors, partners will enjoy preferential treatment in terms of appearance on publicity materials, mentions on the media and during conferences, which help to increase their visibility and contribution to the water and environment sector in Uganda.


Potential individuals, institutions and partners that would like to participate in the Uganda Water and Environment Week 2018 will do so by Expression of Interest (EOI) through physical or online registration.   

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