Uganda’s Budongo-Bugoma Forest Corridor, situated in the north of the Albertine Rift, is considered to be one the most biodiverse regions of Africa, well known for its chimpanzee population. However, this biodiversity hotspot is under pressure from high population growth, deforestation, and seasonal water supply extremes — and the flash point is often access to water. Elsewhere in South Africa’s dry Eastern Cape Province, the country’s last free-flowing river, the Mzimvubu, is experiencing environmental stresses of its own.
The pressures on these two ecosystems and the humans and wildlife that depend upon them are immense. How does one promote conservation and environmental preservation in communities lacking in such basic human needs as regular water supply and sanitation? The answer may lie in the intersection of freshwater resource management and water, sanitation, and hygiene (FW-WASH).