© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

WASH & 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 communities of the world suffer from dirty and scarce water. Every year, we help up to 500,000 people get new access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

Why water matters

If you live in a developed 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, three in ten people around the world lack access to safe water at home, and almost six in ten to sanitation. Most illnesses in developing countries are caused by dirty water and poor hygiene.

«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

Our work

Helvetas places the human right to water and sanitation at the center of its work. We support the poorest not only in their efforts to build wells and latrines. Helvetas promotes a comprehensive approach that includes distributing water resources fairly, sustainably managing water supply services, 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 with the help of Helvetas.

Our Expertise

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

Bridges & Roads

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: Water

© Helvetas/Nomwindé Sawadogo
Burkina Faso WASH & Water Governance

Health for Schoolchildren and Their Families

© Helvetas
Nepal WASH & Water Governance

A Fair Share of the Water

© Helvetas
Mali WASH & Water Governance

For Functional Wells and Communities

© Helvetas
Mozambique WASH & Water Governance

Supplying Small Towns with Water

© Helvetas / Simon Opladen
Guatemala WASH & Water Governance

Good Governance Makes for Good Water

© Helvetas
India WASH & Water Governance

Fair and Good – for People and Planet

© Water Sanitation Mozambique
Global WASH & Water Governance

Swiss Water Partnership

© Water for food
Global Governance, Peace & Migration

Tackling Corruption in the Water Sector

© Helvetas
Madagascar WASH & Water Governance

Water - the Source of Life