About UPGro

UPGro: Libérer le potentiel des eaux souterraines en faveur des populations pauvres

Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor (UPGro), was a seven-year international research programme (2013-2020) which was jointly funded by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).  Over 130 of the world’s best researchers from 43 organisations across Africa and Europe were focused on improving the evidence base around groundwater availability and management in Sub-Saharan Africa. The goal has been to ensure that the hidden wealth of Africa’s aquifers benefit all citizens and the poorest in particular. UPGro projects have been interdisciplinary, linking the social and natural sciences to address this challenge

UPGro was governed through a Project Executive Board (PEB), which comprised most recently:

Professor Declan Conway (LSE) Chair of the UPGro Project Executive Board

UPGro Ambassadors:

  • Dr Callist Tindimugaya, Ministry of Water Environment (Uganda) / IAH / Africa Groundwater Network
  • Dr. Muna Mirghani, WATER TRAC – Transboundary Resource & Advisory Center (Sudan) / Visiting Professor at Technische Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Moustapha Diene, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar / Africa Groundwater Network
  • Ms Coletha U. Ruhamya MSc, Director General – Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), Rwanda


  1. In World Vision Kenya we have drilled more than 100 boreholes in rural communities and installed them with solar powered submersible pumps. Its a technology worthy replicating in remote villages with no access to power grid

    1. Hi Charles, it’s definitely an up and coming technology. We will have a session on it at the RWSN Forum, with interesting experiences from several countries. I hope you can join us.

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