Evaluation of Water Stewardship Partnership in the Kiiha Watershed of Uganda

Map of Kiiha watershed comprising three subcatchments in two river basins

The Aidenvironment East Africa Office recently evaluated a GIZ IWaSP water stewardship partnership in the Kiiha watershed in Uganda, identifying achievements and risks and providing advice on the way forward. The watershed faces challenges that threaten local livelihoods in the short and long run as well as local biodiversity: shrinking natural resources, including wetlands and forests, lack of data for future scenarios of water use and demand, inadequate collaboration and cooperation, and limited awareness among stakeholders.

The Kiiha watershed comprises three sub-catchments that drain into two rivers: sub-catchments Kiiha 1 and Kiiha 3 drain into River Kafu, and sub-catchment Kiiha 2 drains into River Siba. The watershed provides water resources for ecosystem services and for household and industrial use. Among businesses dependent on water resources from Kiiha is Kinyara Sugar Ltd (one of Uganda’s largest players in the sugar industry), whose nucleus estate and the majority of its outgrowers are situated in the watershed.

A partnership between the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment (Albert Water Management Zone), Kinyara Sugar Ltd, the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST) and the GIZ International Water Stewardship Programme (GIZ IWaSP) sought to address the above challenges, through collective action by all stakeholders, to ensure sustainable access to water for the communities.

In July 2019, the Aidenvironment East Africa Office was contracted to evaluate the partnership and its activities during its 2.5 years implementation period. We highlighted achievements, identified risks to the sustainability of the activities, and offered advice on the direction the partnership could take in future.

  • Among the achievements are the introduction of community-based management of natural resources in the area; successful promotion of joint efforts between the local governments involved; improvement of solid waste management through community-based businesses; and, for Uganda, a pioneering Public-Private-CSO partnership model that provides a unique opportunity for CSO (i.e. activists) and government agencies (i.e. enforcers) to work with the companies toward compliance with environment standards.
  • The risks to sustainability are weak internal governance arrangements among the community-based associations, and the likely failure of local governments to monitor and upscale the activities owing to their limited human and financial resources.
  • Our advice included expanding the partnership to include other institutional members, and suggestions for mainstreaming the partnership-initiated activities into local government planning and budgeting processes.


For more information, please contact James W Kisekka and Tumuhaire Raymond.