January 2022

Aquaya Awarded Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Grant to Establish Africa Water Quality Testing Fellowship

A 5-year capacity building and evidence generation program

With backing from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, The Aquaya Institute (Aquaya) is partnering with universities in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Uganda to establish a student fellowship program and collect water quality testing data in selected districts.


Access to accurate and timely drinking water quality data helps governments measure progress towards national goals, prioritize resources for infrastructure development, and take corrective actions to protect public health.

Aquaya’s previous research in sub-Saharan Africa found that institutions mandated to monitor drinking water quality often failed to do so at the frequency required by national standards, partly due to insufficient staff capacity and knowledge.

The five-year (2021-2026) Hilton Foundation Africa Water Quality Testing Program aims to address these critical gaps by establishing fellowship programs through local universities to build students’ practical skills in water quality monitoring.

Africa Water Quality Testing Fellowship

Aquaya, in collaboration with the University of GhanaBahir Dar University in Ethiopia, and Makerere University in Uganda, will establish fellowship programs to train undergraduate and graduate student fellows. These fellows will participate in training courses on water quality surveys and testing and learn data management and analysis skills.

Fellows will also collect semiannual water quality data from households, schools, and health care facilities in seven focal districts to address key drinking water quality research questions and inform strategies for water quality improvement interventions.

The long-term goal is to establish a pipeline of experienced water quality professionals to contribute to water sector development in sub-Saharan Africa.

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