According to a 2012 Ministry of Water and Environment Sector Performance report, Uganda loses approximately USD 177 million annually due to poor sanitation. Ten percent of the population of Uganda practices open defecation, which is estimated to cost the country USD 41 million per year. However, eliminating the practice requires less than 650,000 household toilets to be built and used. The urban population of Uganda has rapidly increased to an estimated 5 million (14.7% of the total population) in 2012, resulting in slums and informal settlements which are ‘hotspots’ for the urban poor. These communities are characterized by ill-planned infrastructure and inadequate access to sanitation facilities.
A recent Rapid Market Assessment carried out by Water For People in partnership with Captiva, a Business Development Service provider company in Kampala, revealed that manual laborers simply use a broken jerry can and rope to empty pit latrines. Such manual emptying of pits is not only unhygienic, but labor intensive and time consuming. Many households resorted to releasing sludge into the community drainage systems, or abandoning the facility altogether and resorting to open defecation, leading to waterborne diseases like diarrhea and cholera.