The USAID Uganda Sanitation for Health Activity (USHA) used the EquityTool wealth assessment to understand population demographics, effectively target outreach, and build pro low-income earner solutions to increase private water connection uptake at five water supply schemes serving over 79,000 people. To improve piped water access for low-income earners, USHA agreed with the two public utilities managing the schemes to allocate 50 percent of the new water connections subsidized by the project to households in the bottom two wealth quintiles. The evaluation team adopted the EquityTool to assess the socio-economic profile of households currently connected to the system and those applying for the new water connections.
The EquityTool analyses indicated that less than 10 percent of customers currently connected to the schemes are from the lowest two quintiles. The tool also found that more than 70 percent of the households who initially applied for new connections were not from the bottom two quintiles. Further analysis suggested that the co-financing requirement of getting connected was a barrier for the lowest income earners and community outreach approaches were not effectively reaching the most vulnerable. The team used EquityTool data to devise strategies to better target the most vulnerable households, ultimately leading to the fulfillment of the 50 percent allocation.