Access to water and sanitation is a universal right

19.11.2015, Chiredzi District, Zimbabwe. Toilet facilities at the Ruware primary school.
Access to water and sanitation is a human right. Schoolchildren washing their hands in front of the toilet facilities at the Ruware primary school in Chiredzi District, Zimbabwe. © Andreas Steiner, SDC

Today, around 844 million people have no access to safe drinking water. The SDC is working to ensure that people have reliable supplies of drinking water and adequate sanitation. Recognised as a human right since 2010, access to drinking water and sanitation are essential to meeting basic human needs.

SDC focus

Water is common property, and access to drinking water and sanitation is a human right. The SDC works to ensure that people have adequate supply of drinking water and access to sanitation and treatment plants enabling them to maintain adequate hygiene. Switzerland has extensive expertise in the field of water that is recognised across the globe and supports a range of activities:

  • applied research and innovation
  • financing to improve access to water and wastewater disposal worldwide
  • developing new approaches to services and new partnerships with the private sector (water stewardship)
  • upscaling of infrastructure programmes. It also provides capacity building and training to ensure that facilities function properly.

The SDC brings the practical experience it has gained to political dialogue between governments, the private sector and civil society in order to promote mutual learning and support the implementation of workable, sustainable solutions.

Background

According to the UN, around 844 million people currently have no access to drinking water. Furthermore, 2.3 billion people live without adequate sanitation facilities and 892 million still practice open defecation. Poor sanitation conditions alone cause 80% of the diseases prevalent in developing countries. Around the world, 1,000 children under the age of five die every day from diarrhoeal diseases as a result of drinking contaminated water. However, in many cases the problem is not due to a shortage of water as such but rather to the absence of national and international funding commitments to provide access to water of suitable quality where it is needed. For that reason, the SDC seeks to cooperate with all stakeholders in developing a system that in the long term will enable everyone to enjoy access to clean drinking water.

Documents

Current projects

Object 61 – 72 of 97

Gaza Vulnerable Communities Development- GVCD (Phase 1)

01.10.2017 - 31.12.2021

In the first phase of this project, SDC will support selected Municipalities in the Gaza Strip to improve the delivery of services through the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF): small-scale infrastructure projects targeting vulnerable communities and capacity development activities to enhance the participation of these communities in local decision-making processes will be implemented. This project is aligned with Palestine National Policy Agenda (2017-2022), and Swiss Cooperation Strategy for the oPt (2015-2018).


Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership to achieve a water-secure world for all

01.09.2017 - 31.12.2030

The Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP) of the World Bank Water Global Practice is a global partnership with the objective to address the water and sanitation challenge in an integrated manner, as set out by the Global Sustainable Development Goal 6. This SDC support will promote innovative global knowledge production and exchange, dialogue and partnerships, as well as country-level support across regions at global scale.


IRQ Oxfam – Integrated WASH and Protection response to conflict affected communities in Diyala governorate

01.09.2017 - 28.02.2020

A majority of people living in rural northern Diyala do not have access to potable water which results in communities utilizing unsafe sources like rivers and irrigation channels. The lack of solid waste management systems further aggravates the poor health conditions within this area. This project aims at reducing water and sanitation related risks and increasing access to clean water for IDPs, returnees and host communities living in the districts of Kifri and Khanaqin. It also helps particularly vulnerable families access protection services.


Sierra Leone Landslide: Contribution to IFRC Emergency Appeal

23.08.2017 - 24.08.2018

On the night of 13 August 2017, the city of Freetown in Sierra Leone and its outskirts experienced torrential rains and landslides. At least 400 people were killed following the collapse of a hillside. 600 people are still missing and 3’000 were displaced. Through this contribution, Switzerland will assist 9’600 victims and affected people in Freetown with emergency and recovery services to improve the condition of shelter, water sanitation and hygiene as well as health care.



Mercy Corps: Rapid responses to movements of populations through cash based programming

01.08.2017 - 08.06.2018

Eastern DRC has faced a crisis for over twenty years and humanitarian needs remain acute. A combination of persistent armed conflict, forced and prolonged displacements, epidemics poor governance and poor service delivery have fostered high vulnerability within the population. Providing multi-sectoral assistance will helpp address the diversity of needs in communities in crisis, especially those of displaced people. SDC's contribution to Mercy Corps (MC) is specifically earmarked to provide assistance through unconditional, multi-purpose cash transfers. 


Support to Decentralization in Ukraine (DESPRO)

01.07.2017 - 31.12.2021

Switzerland’s continued support to decentralization and local governance reform in Ukraine builds upon the good results achieved in previous phases. By strengthening capacities of the key national reform stakeholders and improving national policies, SDC will contribute to further advancing the reform. Local governments will be capacitated to effectively use newly transferred competences and resources to provide quality public services (in particular water supply & sanitation and solid waste management) to citizens.


LEB – Improved Water Resources Monitoring and Integrated Water Resources Management in the North of Lebanon

01.07.2017 - 30.09.2021

For over five years now, the Syria crisis is continuing to affect middle-income neighbouring countries. As a result, Lebanon hosts the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. The weak governance of the Government has been worsened with the burden of the refugees from Syria and Palestine who use the same overstretched infrastructure and public services. The project aims at enabling the water authorities to better manage the water sector for the benefit of the vulnerable communities in the North of the country.


Potable Water Management Programme (PWMP) in Upper Egypt

01.07.2017 - 31.12.2027

Egypt is a water scarce country and has enormous needs in better managing water resources and reducing water losses as well as water consumption, as a prerequisite for inclusive economic development. This programme contributes to improved potable water management and service provision in the targeted affiliated Water & Wastewater Companies (WWCs) and to providing equal access to a reliable potable water supply system to deprived and informal areas in the economically disadvantaged governorates of Upper Egypt.


JOR Sanitation Solutions for Underserved Communities in Jordan

01.07.2017 - 30.06.2027

In Jordan water supply from conventional water sources has come to its limits. Appropriate sanitation solutions will minimize the risks for public health and reduce the hazards of environmental pollution. Additionally these will cut the costs for sanitation operations and free resources for other purposes. Thus the project will contribute to the much needed decoupling of population and economic growth from resource consumption and pollution of the environment.


Potable Water Management Programme (PWMP) in Upper Egypt – Phase 1

01.07.2017 - 31.12.2021

Egypt is a water scarce country and has critical needs in better managing water resources and reducing water losses as well as water consumption. Switzerland can share its know-how in the water sector. This programme contributes to equitable access to safely managed water to deprived and informal settlement areas in the economically disadvantaged governorate of Aswan in Upper Egypt and to improved potable water management and service provision in Aswan Water & Sanitation Company (AWSC).


Object 61 – 72 of 97