Water for Development

Rwenzori Score(RS) 

RS is an Android application, which is designed to know the ground reality of ecological water quality and macroinvertebrate diversity along selected sites. Furthermore, the RS analyses the MI diversity patterns and ecological water quality patterns across the region.

 OBJECTIVES: 1) To digitise and popularise the sharing of ecological water quality information with stakeholders. (i.e., Fishermen, farmers, game rangers, volunteer activists, water resources users, environmental stakeholders) 2) To maintain accuracy through photographs with geo-tagging 3) To develop a robust decision support system (DSS) through data analytics 4) Help map macroinvertebrates (MI)habitats for vector control 5) Foster community science and technological skills transfer 6) Increase public awareness 7) Collect baseline water quality data 8) Encourage partnerships between civil society, private sector and government 9) Implementation of SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation), Goal 9 (industry innovation and infrastructure), SDG 17 (Partnerships to achieve the Goal)


RS is an Android application, which is designed to know the ground reality of ecological water quality and macroinvertebrate diversity along selected sites. Furthermore, the RS analyses the MI diversity patterns and ecological water quality patterns across the region. Photographic capture will further highlight sites and disturbances around.  All field officers / volunteer amateur scientists are trained to capture MI information at different waterbodies (wetlands, lakes and rivers) using Android devices (phones and tablets).  The features include online transfer of data for every site sampled to the cloud.  Photographic upload and geotagging of the site locations  Photographic capture of the macroinvertebrates collected.  The mobile app covers land/ water usage /quality of the Rwenzori region.  Digitised data collection will solve the bottlenecks of manual data collection.


Change to the local language to promote more diversity and inclusion • Catalogue local (traditional) MI names used by natives • Predictive models using image capture • Broaden score to other water bodies in the region


1.Restoration and conservation of freshwater systems.

2.Vector and disease control.

3.Database of MI diversity.

4.Decision support systems through predictive data analytics.

5.Android and IT literacy in rural communities.

6.Foster science education through community science.

7.Data digitisation.

8.Real-time biomonitoring.

9.Cost-effective chemical monitoring of sensitive (disturbed) locations.

10.Gender equality and youth employment

Rwenzori Score (RS) CALCULATION:

Overview: Macroinvertebrates are animals that do not have or possess backbones and can be seen with the naked eye. Many scientists and watershed experts use these macroinvertebrates to obtain a quick water quality assessment of a waterbody (lake, river, or wetland). Some of these macroinvertebrates are very tolerant of polluted waters while others are not. If we find a variety of non-tolerant macroinvertebrates in a waterbody we can assume that there is little to no pollution effecting the ecosystem. However, we must standardize this process in order to compare the health of freshwater bodies. Below is an equation known as the Rwenzori score that helps us do just that.

Rwenzori Score (RS) = Sum[(T)(n)]/N

T: Tolerance value for a given family/order n: Number of individuals found in each family

N: Total number of individuals in the sample site/location Rwenzori Score (RS)

Water Quality Degree of Pollution Color out put: 0 – 4 Poor-RED4.1– 5 FAIR - YELLOW ; 5.1– 6 Good-GREEN; 6.1 – 10 Excellent - BLUE

User Grade Level: Skill: Comprehension of a water quality determinations through the surveying, identifying, and assessing of macroinvertebrate families.

Vocabulary: Macroinvertebrates, Rwenzori Score, Taxonomy, and Pollution Tolerance Value. Macro-invertebrates - animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column.

Rwenzori Score – an index that standardizes the pollution level within a given waterbody by taking into account macroinvertebrate family diversity, given pollution tolerance values, and total number of macroinvertebrates found. Taxonomy – branch of science concerned with classification of organisms Pollution Tolerance value – Scale from 1-10 that describes the pollution tolerance of a given family or order. Numbers close to 1 represent organisms that are tolerant of pollution and numbers close to 10 represent organisms that are not tolerant of pollution.

Outcome: After completion of the field work, community volunteers and other stakeholders should be able to identify a macro invertebrate and know how to use the Rwenzori Score APP to assess ecological water quality.

Example: At site location A along River Nile, I identify the following four families based on App MI catalogue: Families identified No of individuals found (N) Family Tolerance value (T) N*T Sphaeriidae 10 4 40 Tubificidae 2 5 10 Corduliidae 5 2 10 Thiaridae 60 1 60 Sum 77 120 The Rwenzori Score Site A is Sum N*T divided by Sum of N Sum N*T = 120 Sum of N= 77 Rwenzori Score is 120/77 = 1.55 This falls in the range of 0 – 4 known as the POOR class Then the output will give one red dragon fly.

Online database users: Government ministries, Academic institutions, Wildlife and forestry bodies, civil society and other water stakeholders.


App page to feed in geo-data

App page to feed in taxa/data

Database of taxa names and score values

Database of taxa names and score values

Output page showing the computed Rwenzori Score