A rapid, high level analysis of water safety planning in rural communities using groundwater sources in Uganda and Malawi

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Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.1 states ‘By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all’. Such access was declared a human right by the UN General Assembly in 2010. However, there is an urban-rural disparity in the provision of safe and affordable drinking-water. This is particularly apparent in low income countries such as Uganda and Malawi whose rural communities rely heavily on non-centralised water supplies such as boreholes.

If these sources are well managed, the risks can be substantially reduced but despite a universally applicable model for water safety planning (WSP) being advocated by the World Health Organisation, often this does not happen for one reason or another. Our project aims to gather qualitative data to find out: what are the key elements of effective water safety planning implemented in rural communities in two case study areas and what factors are unachievable and why.

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