Welcome to our 2018 Annual Report.
We’re excited to tell you all about what you made possible.


 The past year has marked an exciting shift for WaterSchool. WaterSchool Canada and USA have teamed up with a new implementing partner in Uganda, Africa Water Solutions. Many of the staff we have worked with over the years are now with Africa Water Solutions, where strengthened leadership has increased the scope and impact of our programs.

Today, your gifts are being invested with a more holistic approach to solving the global water crisis and addressing the health, economic and education impacts. Beyond teaching the SODIS method and basic hygiene and sanitation techniques, you are also helping to build rainwater collection tanks, upgrade latrines at homes and schools through the use of SatoPans, support the building of new latrines, certify villages as being “Open Defecation Free” zones, and much more. This past November, I was able to personally visit and view the work being accomplished by our teams. It was both humbling and invigorating!

Your generosity is truly changing lives and bringing health, wellness and a brighter future to entire communities. Thank you!

Richard Lau
Executive Director, WaterSchool

Here’s what we did together…

42,784 households, 6 schools + 3 health centres trained

SODIS (solar disinfection of water) implementation as well as hygiene and sanitation trainings remain the cornerstone of our work. Teaching people to purify water and to use that water to keep their families healthy changes everything. This training also includes the construction of tippy-taps in homes, schools and health centres to implement hand washing practices.

45 rainwater collection tanks built for families

Uganda has two rainy seasons. Our 6,000 and 10,000 litre collection tanks capture the rain and keep it clean and closeby for families to access during the dry seasons. Each tank serves up to five families.Rainwater collection tanks bring prosperity by opening up opportunities to generate income through gardening as well as improve health through increased access to clean water.

SaTo Pans “Safe Toilets” distributed in communities

A SaTo Pan is a latrine hole cover. Made of plastic, a SaTo Pan protects people by ensuring that waste is kept away from flies and other critters that might land on feces and then travel to food, clothing or dishes. SaTo Pan technology is remarkably simple, affordable ($4 USD each), and effectively improves health by reducing the incidence of diseases like diarrhea. In 2018 we tested the model, and in 2019, we are already on track to distribute over 20,000 SaTo Pans in communities across Uganda.

6 villages verified as “Open Defecation Free” zones

Open defecation is one of the leading causes of diseases like cholera in rural communities. Achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) certification by the Uganda government reflects each community’s commitment to health and hygiene.

1,222 community engineers trained

Community engineers are an essential part of implementing the SaTo Pan program as their training in latrine construction and SaTo Pan installation makes increasing distribution possible in coming years.

SaTo Pans: The Revolutionary Safe Toilet

SaTo Pans are simple, revolutionary technology that WaterSchool has been implementing with Africa Water Solutions to address open-air defecation and the host of communicable diseases (cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, and typhoid) this practice causes.

On a recent visit to Buikwe, Uganda, Tony (middle), WaterSchool’s Africa Program Director, introduces the SaTo Pan at a community meeting.

On a recent visit to Buikwe, Uganda, Tony (middle), WaterSchool’s Africa Program Director, introduces the SaTo Pan at a community meeting.

The SaTo Pan name is derived from the phrase “Safe Toilet” and are designed to close off insects and other hosts’ access to feces - thus limiting their ability to communicate diseases. And SaTo Pan toilets don’t smell!

The SaTo Pan flap is like a trap door -- the weight of a cup or bucket of water “flushing” the waste down opens the trap door to let it through into the latrine pit, and the SaTo Pan’s counterweight keeps the Sato Pan flap closed at all other times. The plastic material is also easy to clean, ensuring any residual waste is “flushed” down the SaTo Pan.

SaTo Pans cost only $4 USD each. While that seems cheap by North American standards, it can be too steep a price to pay for many families living in rural Uganda. WaterSchool and Africa Water Solutions have therefore established local saving schemes in rural communities to help make SaTo Pans available to all families.

In 2018, we trained 1,222 community engineers who are trained in how to install SaTo Pans in rural communities have have tested implementation with over 100 families. We are so confident in our method that we anticipate the implementation of over 20,000 SaTo Pans in 2019 alone. This will make Africa Water Solutions the largest SaTo Pan distributor in Uganda.

Africa 2019 April 192.JPG
I took this photo on a recent trip to Kanungu. I joined the team to visit communities that we were just starting to work with. This pond is where an entire village of people and their livestock draw drinking water from. To me, this photo sums up why we continue to work tirelessly to make sure all people have access to clean, safe water. It changes everything.
— Tony, WaterSchool's Africa Program Director

Keeping Girls in School: One Pad at a Time


While much of the work we have done over the past ten years impacts women and girls, we are adding programming that directly addresses one of the biggest challenges young women in rural Uganda face: their periods.

Too often, when girls get their periods they stop going to school. Without a private place to change a pad, and a lack of pads to begin with, they are pressured to stay at home.

Girls in the communities we work with miss 24% of their school days because they do not feel safe coming to school while they have their period. 

Over the past year, WaterSchool and AWS have piloted a “Menstrual Health Program” which aims to increase school attendance and reduce drop-out due to menstruation. We constructed a private room or outbuilding at four schools stocked with pads, clean underwear, and spare school uniforms.

We also provided training for 210 young women in how to easily make reusable pads with materials that are inexpensive and easy to find at home. Empowerment training, role-model setting and self-worth development are part and parcel of the implementation of this program. The results have been nothing short of astounding. The enrolment rate of girls immediately increases as girls who have dropped out of school return feeling valued, secure and encouraged.

The addition of this Menstrual Health Program at each school requires less than $2,000 and the impact is massive. We believe that when you educate a girl you are building a nation.

Driven by the impact we’ve seen over the past year, we will be expanding the Menstrual Health Program for young women into nine more schools across Uganda.

2018 Financials

Because of the generous support of people like you, we are as strong as ever in our commitment to bring clean water, and improve hygiene and sanitation in Uganda. Program expenses reflect our continued support of Africa Water Solution’s program implementation in Uganda. 

Profit Graph.jpg

Total expenses: $1,115,981
93% Program Investment
5% Fundraising
1% Administration

Total donations: $822,915
58% Foundations
25% Corporate Champions
14% Individuals
3% Churches + Schools

What I appreciate about WaterSchool is that they are very professional organizations that gets results...They benchmark, develop the process, implement, measure results, and then have an ongoing, continuous improvement process.... it is a very effective organization.
— Robert, Entrepreneur and WaterSchool donor, after visiting our team in Uganda

Clean water changes everything.
It gives families in Uganda a future full of possibility, health and choice.
Thank you for your support.