Project: Buikwe - ICEIDA Development Partnership - WASH Development in Fishing Communities 2015-2019

Project: Support to the Implemetntation of Kalangala District Development Plan (KDDP) 2006-2015 

Country Strategy Paper for Uganda 2014-2019:  Uganda-CSP-2014-2019

The Icelandic International Development Agency ICEIDA initiated its cooperation with Uganda in 2000 when a General Development Cooperation Agreement between the countries was signed. Opening of an Icelandic Embassy in June 2004 further strengthened the relations between the countries.

In the first years, the cooperation focused on support to the national Functional Adult Literacy Program (FALP) in fishing communities in Kalangala district islands on Lake Victoria.  Quality assurance project in fisheries by several landing sites at Ugandan lakes later followed (end 2016) and prefeasibility studies of geothermal prospects also took place. The UNU programs in Iceland have in recent years trained a number of Ugandans and support to Entrepreneurship Training Programs was provided.  ICEIDA has provided direct support to MGLSD and various local NGO´s since the partnership commenced.

Support in Kalangala matured into to the Kalangala District Development Program (KDDP).  It formally ended in 2015 after ten years of partnership, with an extended consolidation phase in education until 2019. 

In 2013-14 ICEIDA initiated a district development program in Buikwe district, with emphasis on WASH, education and capacity building. 

The current Country Strategy of Iceland in Uganda is in effect until end of 2019.  

A brief description of the current ICEIDA cooperation projects can be seen below.

Development Cooperation between Iceland and Uganda

The development cooperation between Iceland and Uganda is framed  by the first Country Strategy Paper (CSP) which is in effect until 2019.  With the integration (2016) of ICEIDA into the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and its Directorate for International Development Cooperation, the partnership is now formally residing under MFA structure in Iceland.

The Strategy covers the period 2014 to 2019 with a focus on fishing communities in Kalangala and Buikwe districts. . Funding of Iceland’s cooperation in Uganda has been in the range of USD 4,5 to 6,7 (2018) million USD annually.

Within the framework set by the CSP, foremost effort was put on the continuing collaboration with Kalangala District Local Government and preparations for a new cooperation with Buikwe District Local Government, identified as the two main development partners of Iceland in Uganda.

District Support

Support to Kalangala District

The extensive multi-sectoral program supported by ICEIDA to Kalangala district formally ended after 10 years in 2015.  It was extened by four years in the education sector after an internal review in 2015 . The overall program strategy was to support the Kalangala District Local Government (KDLG) to implement its own development strategy in the areas of fisheries, education, health (2006-2010) and tourism development (2011-2014); and to improve local governance, thus promoting delivery of better services to the population.

The support to capacity building activities and service delivery interventions continued under administration, fisheries, and education sectors such as: strengthening the district's capacity for development planning and management; monitoring and evaluation; facilitating quarterly audits; district radio program; fish quality assurance; operation and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities; environment inspection and audit; continuous assessment of learners' in primary and secondary schools; promotion of co-curricular activities in sports and performing arts; strengthening school inspection; supply of basic text books and instruction materials to primary schools, and equipping secondary schools.

Efforts in the education sector in Kalangala have contributed tremendously in the improvement of primary pupils pass rates. In the 2014 national primary leaving examinations Kalangala District was ranked 12th out of 118 districts, compared to 38th position in 2012 and 24thin 2013. Before ICEIDA extended support under KDDP to primary education, Kalangala was usually among the 5 worst performing districts in Uganda.

Based on these achievements Iceland extended the education support to Kalangala after an internal review gave evidence to the progress made, warranting further funding.  A four year education program (2016-2019) was launched, amounting to one million USD per year.   In 2018 Kalangala pupils again showed highly improved ranking nationally on standardized tests.

The current education project includes holistic approach to improved quality of education: Textbooks provision to pupils, improved infrastructure and WASH facilities, teachers training, administrative support and other components that will support education in this deprived area, including skills training for school drop-outs.

Support to the Buikwe District Fishing Communities (BFCDP)

A Partnership Agreement for BFCDP was signed in October 2014 by the Director General of ICEIDA, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Chief Administrative Officer of Buikwe District Local Government (BDLG). The Partnership Agreement lays out the overall cooperation framework for ICEIDA support to BDFCDP under which project components for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and education will be supported, as well as for overall administrative capacity of the district.

The technical foundation for the BDFCDP was established in three situation analyses, i.e. health, education and fisheries, which had been identified in the CSP as the main focus areas for the cooperation with Uganda. A common denominator from all the situation analyses was the importance of WASH, which was seen as critical for development in each of the three sectors. In addition to three situation analyses, an Institutional Capacity Assessment of BDLG was concluded by Uganda Local Governments Association in March 2014.

The budget for direct program support of Iceland in 2018 is 4,5 m USD, inncluding WASH and education.

The Buikwe District Local Government WASH Project Component was completed and approved formally by all relevant BDLG bodies and implementation started in 2015.  The program is expected to cover a total of 39 villages with a population close to 50.000 when completed.  During implementation the program has been innovative in service delivery and placed high emphasis on both clean water provision as well as hygine practices and sensitization of the general public and school children.  The expected outcomes are improved health indicators.  In the first two years of implementation the technical aspects of the project have been succcessful and water delivery will be ensured.  A more challenging aspect will be the sanitation factor which requires behavioral change in largely poor and uneducated communities that are accustomed to unhealthy practices.

The education component of the Buikwe district support was launched in 2016 and reaches a total of 28 highly populated primary and secondary schools in four  sub-counties.  The number of pupils in these schools is close to 20.000. 

Based on the experience from the Kalangala intervention which is seen as a success the project is holistic and and seeks to address a number of important school-life components in order to improve quality of education.  High-drop out rates in primary schools and low retention of pupils in secondary schools is only one aspect of the sad state of basic education in Uganda; studies have found that pupils learn very little even when attending schools.  This is attributed to a general and all ecompassing lack of facilities, training and teaching materials, aggrevated by a very poor nutritional status of pupils and teachers.

The program which Iceland supports includes improvement in infrastructure like classrooms and teachers’ houses, provides training and upgrading for teachers and administrators, ensures full provision of teaching materials and includes WASH facilities in schools.  In addition the program has sought innovative ways to improve school life.  In partnership woith FENU, umbrella organization of education NGOs, community councils have been founded at all schools to involve parents and community leaders and address key issues that the general public raises.  A nutritional study was commissioned and showed that childrens learning ability is hampered by lack of nutrition.  Therefore a pilot is planned for extensive and exemplary school gardens.  In addtion the NGO Womena is commissioned to introduce adolecent girls and boys to menstruational management and provide material support in order for the girls to stay at school into puberty.  Special gender segregated washrooms have been built.  Furthermore, all schools have received impoved school kitchens with energy saving stoves that already have reduced firewood consumption by at least 50%.

Cross Cutting Issues


Gender equality is identified in the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the cooperation between Iceland and Uganda as a cross-cutting issue and as such is taken into consideration and integrated into all development activities suported by Iceland..

As part of the preparatory process for the cooperation with Buikwe District, ICEIDA established technical collaboration with the Kampala office of UN Women. Specialists from UN Women carried out gender analysis on all situation analyses utilizing a recognized gender check-list analysis.

In 2017 an external gender evaluation gave the Uganda programs high marks for efforts in this area.


Environmental sustainability is defined in the CSP as cross-cutting issue with equal importance as gender. Issues pertaining to environmental sustainability will thus be taken into consideration and integrated into all development activities.

Energy saving stoves for schools are already highly effective in reducing the burning of wood and improving the smoke-infested working conditions of staff.  The WASH program is addressing the environmental hazard and pollution of ground water risked by open defecation of a great number of the population.