Supporting Evidence Action’s Dispensers for Safe Water Program in Rural Uganda

Astellas Global Health Foundation Funding Enables Access to Safe Water, Helping Improve Child Survival and Reduce Waterborne Diseases for 250,000+ People

In rural parts of low-income countries like Uganda, most sources of water are untreated and unsafe, while climate change and aquifer depletion are reducing available sources of clean water. As a result, families living in these areas are often plagued with diseases that are easily preventable through water treatment.

In 2021, the Astellas Global Health Foundation provided a $400,000 grant to Evidence Action to support its Dispensers for Safe Water program in rural Uganda. The grant has helped the organization provide chlorine dispensers that enable free and reliable access to safe water for more than 250,000 people. Their uniquely engineered dispensers are installed next to commonly used water sources, enabling people to treat their water using a safe and pre-measured dose of chlorine. The chlorine stays active for 2-3 days, which ensures the water does not get re-contaminated even when stored at home.

Safe water is one of the most essential elements to health and wellness. In fact, research shows that treating water is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve child survival and can improve child survival rates by 30 percent. However, 71 percent of the population in low-income countries and 40 percent in lower-middle-income countries do not have access to safely managed drinking water facilities.

As a result of a comprehensive process innovation and education program to support the dispensers, the Evidence Action Dispensers for Safe Water program has been able to provide more than 4 million people in rural Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi with free and reliable access to safe drinking water.

A Dispensers for Safe Water promoter teaching her community about the chlorine dispenser.

A dispenser user in Uganda explained, “Before I was just drinking untreated water and my family was sickly, and myself, I had typhoid. Then, later, the doctors advised me to start treating water, but nothing worked. Not until I started using the dispenser. [It] has finally solved my problems by curing my family from water borne diseases, which is a positive impact, and we are now healthy and happy. Before, people did not see the value in the dispenser, but now people cherish the dispenser so much because some diseases, like cholera, are gone. I am grateful for the dispensers program.”

To learn more about the impact of the Dispensers for Safe Water program, visit the Evidence Action website.