Equal Aqua Uganda
Commonwealth Point of Light 157. Abel Odeke
Abel Odeke, representing Uganda, is the co-founder of 'Equal Aqua Uganda', an initiative which aims to build sustainable water tanks in rural Uganda providing a clean water source for the next 20 years.
The tanks – one of which has recently completed construction – are being made using plastic “ecobricks”, waste plastic bottles which are filled with sand, with Abel and his team leading a campaign alongside the building project to raise awareness of plastic pollution. This project is in close partnership with another local NGO, the ‘Ichupa Upcycle Project’, whose master builders are the leading authority in “ecobrick” construction in Uganda. Together they aim to provide safe, sustainable access to water for all schools in Eastern Uganda. During the coronavirus pandemic, Abel and his team have also opened hand washing stations and been educating local people on how to protect themselves from the virus.
Peter West, British High Commissioner to Uganda, said:
“Globally, 1 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases. In Uganda about 50% of the population lack access to safe water and water-borne diseases kill thousands each year. Equal Aqua Uganda are addressing a great need and challenge in Uganda and I am delighted this has been officially recognised, with Managing Director Abel Odeke awarded the Points of Light award. Points of Light awards are given to outstanding individuals who are making a real difference and change in their community. Congratulations to Abel and the whole of the Equal Aqua Uganda team for being a part of the solution to Uganda’s water challenges.”
“Our team from Uganda and the UK are deeply honoured to receive recognition from the British High Commission for our charitable work. As a new, youth-led organisation run by a team of passionate volunteers, this award will open many doors for us. It will help us to raise awareness and support for our programmes that provide equal access to water, sanitation and hygiene for all Ugandans. It will allow us to connect with likeminded organisations and build international solidarity around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). Thank you and weebale nyo.”