World Water Week 2018 and UK Aid Direct grant holders

As many of our grant holders will know, this week is World Water Week, an annual event that brings together practitioners, innovators, and professionals from a variety of sectors, to exchange ideas, network, and to develop solutions to water-related challenges.

The theme this year is ‘water, ecosystems and human development’, and it is taking place in Stockholm, Sweden until 31 August.

For every funding round UK Aid Direct receives a number of applications to support water-specific projects (WASH) and we work closely with partners the Water, Engineering and Development Centre of Loughborough University (WEDC), to select the strongest of these.

Pump Aid is an Impact grant holder working with some of the poorest and hard to reach communities in Malawi to provide safe water and toilets.

Pump Aid irrigation pump and crops

“The UN Sustainable Development Goals set ambitious targets for future development but, in our drive to increase economic development and human resilience, it is easy to overlook the effect such actions have on the environment and vital ecosystems. Pump Aid’s (DFID-funded) self-supply programme seeks to address both these objectives by helping rural populations increase their access to water and improve their efficient use of it.

“For example, our rope-and-washer pumps are manufactured close to the point of sale (reducing the need for polluting transport), their manufacturers use locally sourced and, wherever possible, locally recycled materials minimising the use of scarce resources…

“Securing the engagement and commitment of the whole community is vital for the delivery of economic development in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly ways and the commitment of Pump Aid’s entrepreneurs to the roll-out of this programme is a tremendous endorsement of Pump’s Aid work and of the visionary approach taken by DFID when they agreed to fund the original pilot.”

– Michael Chuter, Chief Executive, Pump Aid

Community Partnership grant holders WellFound believe that clean water not only tackles direct issues such as water-related diseases but it also provides a solid base for communities to grow and take further steps to improve their daily lives.

“We have heard recently that in the village of Paili where WellFound has been working, their new well has become a community hub where men, women and children happily gather to fetch water for drinking, washing and cooking, whilst catching up with their neighbours and friends… With women and children spending less time each day fetching water, many more are able to attend school and gain an education which will help themselves and their families in the future.”

Women working to pump water from their new community well built by WellFound

For new Community Partnership grant holders, Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), although water is not the primary focus of the menstrual hygiene project they are delivering in Uganda with partners Faith in Water, a lack of water is proving to be a big challenge for them. Especially in the rural schools they are working with.

“Only 3 of the 12 Christian rural schools have a fully functioning water source within the school compound and for 3 of them the nearest water source is over 1km away. One of the Muslim schools, in a poor urban area near Kampala, had no water at all within 2.5km.

“There were hand washing facilities in just 4 of the schools and in 2 of them this consisted of a single jerry can.

“Dignity for Girls: Engaging faith groups in Uganda on menstrual health is providing rainwater harvesting tanks in 9 of the schools and repairing existing rainwater harvesting tanks in others. We are also building hand washing facilities in all the schools.”

– Susie Weldon, Faith in Water

Learn more about water-related challenges and the sustainable innovative solutions being discussed at World Water Week 2018 by

  • tuning in to the live-streamed events taking place throughout the week (or watch them after the event has happened) ; view a full programme here and
  •  follow #WWWeek and #Live on Twitter

Thank you to grant holders Pump Aid, WellFound and Alliance of Religions and Conservation for their comments on the use of water in their projects.

Children at a primary school, in Hoima District, Uganda, test out their new hand washing facility, installed with the UK Aid Direct Dignity for Girls project from ARC. 

Small Charities Challenge Fund announcement

On 27 July it was announced that Bees for Development based in Monmouth, Wales had been awarded £50,000 through the Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF).

This funding will train beekeepers and start new beekeeping businesses in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

*Penny Mordaunt, International Development Secretary said:

“Small, UK-based charities up and down the country, often staffed by volunteers, are incredibly valuable in making a difference around the world. DFID’s Small Charities Challenge Fund celebrates their innovative work in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Bees for Development is a great example of how a small community in Wales is helping to make a huge difference in Ethiopia. They are providing an invaluable entrepreneurial experience to young people, helping them thrive and support their own community.”

Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales said:

“I am delighted that the hard work of Welsh charities such as Bees for Development is being rewarded for the international impact they have in encouraging entrepreneurship in a way that protects our environment. I hope that the funds awarded will go a long way to continue the great work they do across Ethiopia.”

The Bees for Development Ethiopian project has 4 aims:

  • to deliver beekeeping training to vulnerable communities to build sustainable and resilient livelihoods
  • to help beekeepers secure best value for their bee produce by accessing strong market chains, which are fair and rewarding
  • to ensure that honey bee populations thrive from environmental protection
  • to enable beekeepers to access high quality, relevant information about methods, market opportunities and policy development

Dr Nicola Bradbear, Director of Bees for Development said:

“Bees for Development helps the poorest people earn extra income through beekeeping. We are a specialist organisation, with a niche set of skills. This grant from the Small Charities Challenge Fund will enable us to help families in Ethiopia keep bees profitably, so they can earn extra income to buy school uniforms, pay medical costs, buy food and pay-off debts.”

All SCCF projects are chosen for their ability to strengthen the capacity of grassroots development organisations working with the most marginalised to ensure that no one is left behind.

More Small Charities Challenge Fund grant holders are expected to be announced in early September, delivering projects on disability, education, health, livelihoods, social protection and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

SCCF is a rolling funding opportunity – applications are reviewed on a 6-monthly basis with the closing date for the third review of proposals on Thursday 27 September, 2018 at 17:00 GMT.

To find out more visit our dedicated SCCF pages here.


*Please note: This is an old article. The current Secretary of State for International Development is Rory Stewart.

New Community Partnership grant holder announced

UK Aid Direct is pleased to confirm the name of a non-governmental organisation to be awarded a grant in the second UK Aid Direct funding round.

Food for the Hungry UK will be working on a food security and nutrition improvement project in the town of Namatumba, in the eastern region of Uganda.

The 36 month-long project is expected to reduce the incidence of malnutrition in over 3,000 children under the age of 5 and women of reproductive age through:

  • improved nutrition and hygiene practices learned in a care group system;
  • reduced food losses and spoilage, and access to diversified foods using post-harvest handling technology and kitchen gardens;
  • improved access to treatment for acute malnutrition; and by
  • promoting economic empowerment of women using Village Savings and Loan Associations

This grant is in addition to the 3 announced on 7 August 2018 and the 30 announced on 29 May 2018.

Further information on Community Partnership grant holders is available to view here. You can also view the new Impact grant holders here.

The next UK Aid Direct funding round has now closed to applicants. Interested organisations can register to receive UK Aid Direct news HERE.