More than 75 per cent of Uganda’s population lives in rural areas and depends heavily on groundwater resources. While groundwater reserves are currently adequate to cater to the needs of the rural population—except in a few dry patches in the northeast and southwest—temporal and annual variations of rainfall, unplanned urbanization and encroachment of waterbodies have reduced the natural recharge of the groundwater. Over and above this, groundwater also faces contamination due to natural and anthropogenic reasons.
Uganda receives 66,000 million cubic metres water from rainwater and other inflows. The country should use its high rainwater harvesting potential to augment its groundwater resources. It has promoted rainwater harvesting through storage of rainwater in tanks, but the country also needs to explore community-centric technological options for groundwater recharge. Strengthening of strategies and policies on water conservation, including rainwater harvesting, is the need of the hour.