Time Expenditure and Distance
Affected people have to travel long distances to reach a safe source of water. The time consumed for collecting water cannot be used for educational or economic activities.
Quality and Availability
Water is often available for a few hours a day or only in small quantities. Obtained from unregulated suppliers or unsafe shallow wells, the water does not meet quality standards and is contaminated with pathogens.
Many city dwellers are dependent on buying expensive water. As a result, up to 50% of their budget is spent on this fundamental element.
Around 1 billion people do not have safe access to clean water.
3.5 million people die every year due to the lack of clean water or water contamination.
Every 8 seconds, a child dies from a waterborne disease.
443 million school days are lost due to waterborne diseases globally every year.
According to UNICEF, "elementary access" to water includes having a safe supply and needing less than 30 minutes to access it. If "elementary access" is missing, one speaks of "no access to water". "Improved access" means having constant availability of a safe supply on one's own property without health risks via pollution.
Due to inadequate sanitary facilities, pathogens enter the soil through faecal matter as well as into ground- and drinking water. Especially during the rainy season, infrastructural deficiencies lead to problems. Holes fill up and become unsafe water points, open latrines are under water. As a result, waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever spread.
Lack of access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation worsens the health of people affected and severely restricts their personal development. Clean drinking water serves as preventive medicine and frees up resources to pursue educational opportunities and economic activities.
Every pipe system loses water between the catchment or treatment and the consumer. The water lost is called Non-Revenue Water (NRW). The losses can be physical due to leaks or apparent due to measurement errors. In Switzerland the proportion of NRW is about 10%, in Sub-Saharan Africa it can be up to 70%.
The improvement of the water supply in fast-growing urban areas significantly betters the lives of thousands of people. Our goals are based on this vision:
Create and improve safe and affordable access to water for the poorest communities
Strengthen the local water sector sustainably through innovative projects
Support and connect local actors and structures in a goal-oriented way in order to prevent parallel structures
SYSTEMATIC WATER SUPPLY
Together with local partners, financially self-sustaining supply systems are built. This includes the introduction of a subsidised water price and the establishment of a regulated management system for operation and maintenance.
A step by step approach is needed to reduce time and distance required for water procurement. As a first step, our partners build public drinking water stations connected to the municipal water supply, so-called water kiosks. As a second step, connections can be installed in houses.
WfW establishes long-term relationships with local partner organisations and provides them with organisational support. They are the main actors in implementation, building on the joint conceptual design of projects.
Through our local partner organisations, residents of the project areas are involved into the process all along. This creates incentives for a sustainable use of the infrastructure and transfers responsibility to the population and local institutions.
BUILDING LOCAL CAPACITY
Education in the water sector is promoted on a structural basis. Local capacities are strengthened to maintain and expand existing as well as future water supply systems.