© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

WASH and Water Governance

Securing water resources and improving access to safe water and sanitation facilities are core elements of Helvetas' work.
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

The most vulnerable women, men and children in the world suffer from dirty and scarce water. Every year, we help almost 600,000 people get access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

Why water matters

If you live in a high-income country, you probably consume at least 150 liters of clean water per day for cooking, cleaning and washing. That is approximately two full bathtubs.

While many of us take water for granted, women and girls in poor communities often spend several hours a day fetching water on their heads and backs. Despite significant progress in recent years, one in ten people around the world lack access to basic water services, and one in five lack access to basic sanitation. Many illnesses in low-income countries are caused by dirty water and poor hygiene.

Geburtsstation  Benin | © Helvetas / Simon Opladen
«We used to have problems with infections, because the water that the patients’ families brought was often not clean.»

Nafissatou Bagana, midwife at the Sirarou maternity ward, Benin

What we do

The human right to water and sanitation is at the center of our work at Helvetas. We support poor and disadvantaged people in their efforts to build wells and latrines, but we also go beyond this. We promote a comprehensive approach that includes distributing water resources fairly, managing water supply services in a sustainable manner, efficiently irrigating fields and improving hygiene practices.

In the past five years, over 2,000,000 people have gained access to clean water and sanitation through the support of Helvetas.

Our Expertise and Services

Our approach builds on local ownership and initiative, and tackles the root causes of problems related to water and sanitation, and not just symptoms. Our multilingual Water team provides advisory services both to Helvetas and external clients.

Learn more and contact us

Rural Access

Lack of transport infrastructure makes it impossible for the poor to escape the poverty trap. We help people get better access to markets, schools, and hospitals.

Selected Projects: WASH and Water Governance