Project information

Food and water for children in Uganda

Install wood efficient stove and a rainwater harvesting system to MCS primary school in Musoto, Uganda to provide eco-friendly meals and water to 1300 children. In-school feeding increases attendance, is key to educational attainment and improves health, nutrition and ultimately economic development

6 months

Charity information: Harpenden Spotlight On Africa

Harpenden Spotlight On Africa logo
  • Need


    Many families in Eastern Uganda can’t afford a bowl of porridge a day and don’t have access to clean water. School meals are often the only source of food for many children. MCS whose pupils have increased from 70 to 1300 since opening in 2006, only has two woodburning stoves and needs another to cater for the 700,000 meals provided annually. Lack of clean water will be helped by rainwater harvesting reducing pressure on the existing borehole and introducing the concept to the community.


    It will enable MCS to cook more meals and cope with increasing demand. School meals improve childhood development, learning, cognitive function, concentration, memory and incentivise attendance. Rainwater harvesting via water collection and tank storage system is an effective, sustainable solution to water shortage prevalent in this area. Food and sufficient clean water strengthen immune systems, reduce severity of diseases ultimately reducing morbidity and increase positive life chances.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase capacity of kitchen to provide meals to improve pupils’ health, education and attendance


    » Install additional wood stove enabling MCS to provide meals for increasing numbers as the school expands
    » • Increase potential output of the kitchen by 50% and reduce time to provide meals and input of staff thus reducing costs/time pressure on staff
    » Purchase cooking equipment including large saucepans and utensils for cooking the school meals
    » Be able to provide 2 meals a day to 1300 pupils providing nutrition and improving concentration and health

    What success will look like

    children encouraged to attend school, be fed two school meals and be better able to concentrate and learn

    Aim 2

    Create sustainable access to safe water for drinking, washing and irrigation at the school


    » Install rainwater harvesting system
    » Start to use rainwater for washing, cooking, drinking and irrigation at the school
    » Start to use rainwater for school latrines/hand washing stations

    What success will look like

    installation of rainwater harvesting system complete

    Aim 3

    MCS more environmentally friendly and sustainable by reducing wood fuel and smoke in kitchen


    » Introduce more efficient wood burning stove
    » Harvest rainwater and ease pressure on the borehole we installed
    » Start a school environmental group, educating children on the environment and eco methods

    What success will look like

    Better kitchen working environment, reduced fuel costs. Environmental group up and running, increased awareness.

    Aim 4

    Involve local labour and educate community on benefits of fuel efficient cooking/rainwater capture


    » Use local labour for school staff and for construction work wherever possible
    » Carry out work in collaboration and consultation with the community
    » Promote the project benefits including through our 250 volunteer Community Health Promoters who visit 2500 households each year advising on health

    What success will look like

    Community meeting held to explain initiatives and impact, use of local labour in work carried out which positive impact on local economy.

    Aim 5

    Raise awareness of good nutrition


    » Teach children about the benefits to health and learning of good nutrition in school
    » Promote project through our volunteer Community Health Promoters

    What success will look like

    Community Health Promoter training programmes to include basic nutritional guidance

  • Impact


    Being well fed and hydrated at school will reflect in the children’s development, educational attainment, long term health and life chances. Improved cooking facilities will reduce the time taken, making it easier for the cooks and teachers, helping to make savings to our annual running costs of school meals which are £25,000 (including fuel). The school will be have its own water supply and be better protected in times of drought and have capacity to expand taking on more pupils.


    1) The project lacks sufficient funds or cost is higher than anticipated: we would not start the project until it is fully funded and have allowed a realistic contingency in our budgeting.
    2) Lack of local support: the Project has been identified as urgent by the School Management Committee and benefits the wider community.
    3) Slippage in project timescales: this is a relatively simple project but to account for delays in equipment, we have allowed a realistic timescale in our project plan.


    Donors will receive regular email updates reports with photographs showing progress on the rainwater harvesting system and fuel efficient stoves as well as ongoing reports once it has been completed to show the difference that their support has made to so many children.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,850 Equipment Installation of wood burning stove
      £150 Equipment New cooking equipment
      £6,000 Construction Installation of new rainwater harvesting system
  • Background


    Musoto School is in the slum villages of Bukasakya subcounty, Mbale, Eastern Uganda a peaceful area but poor even by Ugandan standards. Basic infrastructure and access to public services has largely been absent and people suffer high mortality, little primary healthcare provision, lack of clean water and low opportunity for education and employment. Many families have been ravaged by malaria, HIV/AIDS, war and displaced to Mbale by conflict. Population just over 33,000. Life expectancy of 58.


    1,300 pupils aged 5 to 15, plus future pupils. 48% boys 52% girls of which 60 are Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVC).
    Multi-faith school and community, primarily Christian and Muslim.
    Families, especially OVC who tend to be elderly, as school meals and water alleviate economic and health stresses on their caretakers.
    School staff – cooks and teachers with better working environment
    Musoto community will benefit from the rainwater storage as this will alleviate pressure on the borehole.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Spotlight has 10 years’ proven track record of development work in this area of Uganda. We have very strong links with the community and government organisations. We built and continue to support the School for which demand continues to grow. The School is non-denominational, run by Spotlight on Africa-Uganda Foundation through the School Management Committee. Spotlight-UK continues to provide a vital role in funding running and capital costs.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Professor Andrew Mayo

    Chairman of HSoA. Joined HSoA in 2013

    Caroline Swanson

    Trustee & Secretary of HSoA. Joined HSoA in 2007

    Richard Okotel

    Richard Okotel, Director of Spotlight on Africa-Uganda Foundation, a development professional with over 25 years of experience. I

    Richard Obua

    Chairman School Management Committee, Senior University lecturer in Mbale, Uganda. Involved with the school and with HSoA since 2006