Woman collecting water

After the dry season, the rains fall heavily in Uganda. The rivers run full and the mountains are lush and green. Water is plentiful in rural communities - but it is not safe to drink. 

Whether it’s because the water source is downhill from a latrine or because it’s a favourite watering hole for the local animals, most of the available water in Uganda is harbouring diseases like typhoid and dysentery. Sometimes deadly, and always frightening, these diseases wreak havoc on rural communities that don’t have the infrastructure to purify their water.

With your partnership, WaterSchool’s team continues to share our proven program with communities in Uganda. By equipping people with the education and tools they need to purify water, improve sanitation, and focus on healthy hygiene, you have transformed and saved lives.

Thank you for giving the incredible gift of clean water. It truly is a gift that lasts a lifetime. 

With gratitude,
Richard Lau and The WaterSchool Team


Board of Directors
Dave Ericson
Bruce Friesen
Richard Lau
Gregg McNair
Tony Woodruff

Vancouver, Canada
Holly Bishu
Lannette New 

Kampala, Uganda
Zepha Mukalere
John Ochieng
Joseph Tumushime
Jamez Muzinga
Prossy Eyangu Akale
Agatha Izaara
David Buyi
Robert Semakula
Samuel Nsimbe

Nairobi, Kenya
Jane Otai

Nebbi, Uganda
Amos Openji
Glory Awekonimungu
Patrick Nirwoth

Kisoro, Uganda
Elisha Dushime
Annet Kampire
Moses Barugahare

Busia, Uganda
Henry Ouma
Kennedy Wanyama
Marion Adkini


WaterSchool Report Card

WaterSchool’s proven method of education, community engagement and peer support saves lives. We’ve seen a 50% decrease in cases of deadly waterborne illnesses in communities we’re working with in Eastern Uganda. And in one case, a hospital’s dysentery ward has been converted into staff housing because the community to longer needs it! 

With dramatic changes like this, the future is bright because of you. 


Harnessing the power of the sun’s UV rays, we teach people that laying a clear, plastic bottle full of contaminated water in the sun for a day purifies the water. Because of Uganda’s proximity to the equator and the year-round intensity of the sun, this technique kills 99.9% of bacteria, parasites and viruses. Endorsed by the World Health Organization, solar disinfection is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of waterborne illnesses like typhoid and dysentery.

School boys drinking clean water
We used to drink water straight from a swamp down the way - it was our only option. Our whole family was sick with typhoid, which is very expensive to treat. Through our parish, we met the WaterSchool team and learned about how to purify our water using the sun. We no longer have to drink dirty water. Our lives have changed so much - it is almost hard to believe.
— Patrick, Busia District

DIY infrastructure


Clean water is just the first step on the road to good health. Sanitation and hygiene education help to prevent the spread of illnesses by teaching people how to build safe latrines, how to make their very own tippy tap hand-washing station at home (as seen below), and how to collect and dispose of garbage properly. The result? Healthier families, lower medical costs, improved school attendance, and economic growth.  

Naomi washing dishes


Naomi has volunteered with WaterSchool in Uganda since 2010. 

“Earlier in my life I would get sick all the time,” Naomi remembers. “I have had typhoid three times and my seven children were regularly sick as well.”

Typhoid is a bacterial infection that is spread through human waste or water. While totally treatable, antibiotics for typhoid are not cheap. Each treatment costs 50,000 Ugandan shillings, over a quarter of a rural family’s monthly income. 

“I learned about water, hygiene and sanitation through WaterSchool,” Naomi says. “It was more thorough, effective and practical than anything else I had heard of and it made a big difference in my life and for my children.”

Today, Naomi is a volunteer for WaterSchool and spends her time teaching others in her community how to purify their water, and practice better hygiene and sanitation techniques.

And all that extra money that isn’t being spent on medical care for waterborne illnesses? Naomi’s community started a savings scheme. Together, they raise capital to spend on school fees for local children, planting an orange orchard, and supporting their community hospital. 

We have strong partner relationships

Dick Brown meets with Annet Kampire, BSc, a veteran WaterSchool trainer in Kisoro District.

Dick Brown meets with Annet Kampire, BSc, a veteran WaterSchool trainer in Kisoro District.


From Dick Brown - WaterSchool Donor

I had the good fortune of visiting the WaterSchool team in Uganda in 2016. And, if I’m being honest, I was flabbergasted by the impact.  

I listened carefully to community members, local health workers, teachers and their pupils all describing the transformations in their lives created by WaterSchool’s highly sophisticated yet extremely simple solutions to improve water, sanitation and hygiene.

What I realized is that the overwhelming part of WaterSchool’s work is a relentless day-to-day effort to win hearts and minds to permanently change behavior in local communities.

As a donor, I was astonished by the quality of programs and impact made in people’s lives. WaterSchool not only brings the simple and life-saving solar disinfection technology into people’s homes to help clean their water, but the team is also adept at embedding new hygiene practices permanently into rural communities. 

This is hard work and requires exceptional commitment and exceptional talents. Rest assured that WaterSchool provides both in abundance.

Since visiting WaterSchool in Uganda last year I have reviewed my donations to various charities and have decided that WaterSchool has to be at the top of my list from now on, simply by virtue of the fact no other charity delivers such impact per dollar.  

Just $45 gives one family clean water for life and for the lives of their children, their grandchildren and all of their future descendants.


Thank you for your generous support of WaterSchool in 2016. Because of you, 130,656 people were given the opportunity to live healthier, happier lives. You are a part of a team of individual donors and corporate partners that collectively ensure that one day, all Ugandans will have access to clean, safe water - for life!

Donations: $572,555
Expenses $548,995


In 2001, Bob Dell was going to Uganda. As a retired water engineer with 40 years of hard work and experience under his belt, Bob was heading off on a trip to see what the next chapter in his life would hold. 

On that journey, he saw over and over again how a lack of clean drinking water had a devastating impact on people’s lives not only on their health but on their education, economy and families. In 2007, he and his friend Fraser Edwards founded WaterSchool to bring clean water for life to Ugandans. 

To celebrate 10 years of passion and service, Bob wrote a book chronicling the remarkable journey he and Fraser went on to build WaterSchool and address the global water crisis: Waterborne: The Water School Story. It is currently available on Amazon. Here’s a special moment from the book: 

Waterborne: The WaterSchool Story
The children at Matinza were drinking water that was fourteen thousand times in E. coli level above what would render a water supply unsafe to drink in Canada! Clear plastic bottles full of these two water sources were prepared and placed out in the sun at 10 a.m. Samples were taken from the bottles at 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., placed on the Petrifilm and incubated for 24 hours. Although the results were similar for both sources, here are the E. coli counts from the Matinza cattle pond drinking water: 10 a.m.:14,000 E. coli, Noon: 2000 E. coli, 2 p.m.: 200 E.coli 6 p.m.: 0 E. coli. 100% of the germs that were making these children sick were destroyed with 8 hours of sunshine!

Shaking hands with Joseph Tumushime
Over the past seven years, dysentery wards have been shut down in the communities our team works in because people are no longer sick from waterborne illnesses. I realized that providing access to health and education was the biggest contribution I could ever make to my people. This clear, tangible change and benefit is what keeps the WaterSchool team inspired and motivated.
— Joseph Tumushime MSc, Program Manager with WaterSchool Uganda (right)

Join the WaterSchool Family with a gift today.
For just $45, you can provide a family with clean water. For life.