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 25 – 36 of 104

Water Security Middle East (Blue Peace)

01.02.2019 - 31.12.2021

In the Middle East, the dire situation of water resources demands stronger regional cooperation than ever before. The Blue Peace Middle East Initiative is the only regional platform engaging six countries around water issues. Together with its partners from academia, international organisations, civil society and the private sector, Switzerland is able to promote policy and concrete solutions for serving the most vulnerable populations leading to sustainable development and peace building. Stability in the region is in the interest of Switzerland.


Gestión integral del agua

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

In Bolivia, Switzerland has been supporting the Ministry of the Environment and Water in improving integrated water and watershed management for several years. In this last phase of the project, support is given to the consolidation and implementation of the “Plan Nacional de Cuencas” (National Watershed Plan) to ensure water security and increase the climate resilience of vulnerable populations. Consolidation includes better coordination among various state levels, sectors and institutions and the systematization and capitalization of experiences and results.


SDC Education Fund

01.01.2019 - 30.06.2022

As part of its increased commitment for Education and of the implementation of SDC’s Education Strategy, the SDC launches an Education Fund in order to incentivize innovation and the application of new approaches in basic education/vocational skills development and through educational activities across sectors. Innovation can have a catalytic effect on the effectiveness of programmes in and through education. Education is a core enabler for sustainable development and is an important lever in Switzerland’s commitment to promote human and economic development, peace and stability. 


Contribution to the International Secretariat for Water (ISW) - Solidarity Water Europe (SWE)

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2023

The International Secretariat for Water (ISW) supports and empowers civil society and youth to be active, recognized and credible stakeholders in decision-making around water and sanitation. It is recognized for its holistic and participatory approach involving wide networks of partners, including numerous Swiss-based organisations. The contribution aims to strengthen the strategic partnership with ISW in order to remain an efficient and innovative advocate for civil society and youth.


Transboundary waters governance for Sustainable Development and Blue Peace

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2021

With increasing tensions around the rarefication of water, Switzerland, with its central position within the European continent, has chosen the path of regional water cooperation. This programme relies on the synergistic expertise of three international partners. It endorses the approach that increasing regional dialogue and fostering joint management and financing for the shared water resources contributes to socio-economic development and regional stability in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.


Contr. générale SWP (2019-2021)

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2021

The Swiss Water Partnership is a multi-stakeholder platform bringing together Swiss organisations from the academic, civil society, public and private sectors, including youth, to join forces and find innovative solutions for water challenges in developing and transition countries. Umbrella of Switzerland water stakeholders at the international level, carrying the diversity of the Swiss voice, the Swiss Water Partnership is a key complementary partner to SDC both in Switzerland and abroad


Ethiopia, UNICEF, Emergency WASH Response for the Reduction of Hunger in Borena Zone, Oromia Region

01.12.2018 - 30.11.2020

The Borena Zone (Oromia Region) hosts one third of Oromia's conflict Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) between Oromo and Somali groups. Water is a priority for conflict IDP sites and local populations. UNICEF, as the lead agency for the WASH sector in development and humanitarian settings, proposes targeted interventions to respond to immediate life-saving needs by improving access to clean and safe drinking water, and support the recovery phase for both IDPs and host communities.


WaSH Support for Rohingya Refugees and Vulnerable Local Communities in Cox’s Bazar District

25.11.2018 - 24.11.2021

Basic services such as infrastructure, health, water, forest and land resources that were available prior to the Rohingya influx in Cox’s Bazar are under strain due to the massive increase in people in the area. The HYSAWA Fund will address the needs and gaps of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, targeting vulnerable host communities and refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar by enhancing capacity of Local Government Institutions. It will apply tools developed in previous Swiss programmes to improve state-citizen relations and relationships between refugees and the host communities.


Blue Peace Index

01.11.2018 - 31.12.2023

Financial investment in sustainable forms of water cooperation remains limited. Switzerland’s expertise on transboundary water management combined with the Economist Intelligence Unit’s understanding of financial investment bear the unique potential to trigger the change by developing a Blue Peace Index. The aim of such an Index is to increase the awareness on the benefits of cooperation and attracting financial resources for sustainable and resilient investment forms for water cooperation ultimately contributing to a more peaceful and stable society.


UNDP – Disaster Risk Management in Cox’s Bazar District

01.11.2018 - 31.10.2020

The location, climate and topography of Cox’s Bazar District makes it vulnerable to tropical cyclones and associated storm surges, flash flooding, and landslides. The influx of the Rohingya refugees have raised the population of an already poor, disaster prone-district to 3.5 million people, requiring significant upgrading of disaster risk management capacities. The project supports a comprehensive approach to developing local capacities and enables risk informed-decision making.


Water Efficiency in Rice and Cotton

01.11.2018 - 31.12.2022

The public-private-partnership project aims at enhancing smallholder farmers’ income and water productivity in cotton and rice production through improved technologies (PUSH), increased demand of sustainable products by the private sector (PULL) and water stewardship plans (POLICY).
SDC supports a consortium with 20 partners coordinated by HELVETAS in the implementation of the PUSH-PULL-POLICY approach in India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Madagascar.


Blue Peace: Unlocking the value of transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments

01.10.2018 - 31.12.2029

In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals government efforts do not suffice, large private capitals deployed towards development are needed. Switzerland has a comparative advantage as innovative finance hub. Building on this, SDC contributes to the development of innovative financial products that enable transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments with aim to contribute to sustainable development and peace.

Object 25 – 36 of 104