Highlighted results

2.9 million people gained access to an improved water source

5.3 million people gained access to improved sanitation

More than 669,000 people benefited from improved water management

Additional sources

Theory of Change

Download PDF document with the Theory of Change

Policy letter

WASH strategy 2016-2030

Introduction

Access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a basic human right and contributes to a healthy, dignified existence and gender equality.

Improved management of surface water contributes to water security (sufficient water to meet the needs of agriculture and industry and for drinking), flood safety and protection against drought.

Adaptation to climate change, improved water management, safe drinking water and sanitation are also essential to achieve other development goals such as poverty reduction, food security and more equality.

Results 2019

In the reporting period, 2.9 million people gained access to an improved water source. For the second year in succession this was higher than the estimate (1.6 million). Many of the results were achieved in bilateral programmes in Bangladesh, Benin, Ghana, Mozambique, the Palestinian Territories, South Sudan and Yemen.

5.3 million people gained access to improved sanitation. As in the previous reporting period, this far exceeded the target of approximately 2.3 million people. By way of comparison: in the previous reporting period, 3.6 million people gained access to improved sanitation. Various major programmes, including UNICEF and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council’s (WSSCC) Global Sanitation Fund, provided many people with sanitation this year.

In the reporting period, more than 669,000 people in Africa and Asia benefited from improved river basin management and safer deltas through projects funded by the Netherlands. This result is lower than the target, which is to reach an average of 3 million people a year, but it falls within the range of expected annual variations (in the 2016/2017 reporting year, more than 10 million people were reached). These variations are due to early or late completion of specific projects, phasing out of long-term projects (e.g. in Indonesia), the launch of new projects (e.g. in the Sahel), adjustments to attribution, and water or climate-related events impacting on project results.

Result areas

Integrated water management Sanitation Safe drinking water

Featured project water management and drinking water, sanitation and hygiene

UNICEF West Africa

The Netherlands supports UNICEF programmes in seven countries in West Africa: Benin, the Central African Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania and Sierra Leone. These programmes have given millions of mainly very poor people access to clean toilets and safe drinking water. Both their health and their quality of life have improved. Women spend less time fetching water for the household – time they can spend on paid work or caring for their children.

Schools in many countries in West Africa have no toilets or access to clean drinking water. This means that girls do not attend school, because they cannot go to the toilet in private. As a result, they do not complete their education, and thus have less prospect of living an independent life.

Health centres also often have no toilets or access to clean water either, so that people cannot wash their hands, for instance. Sick people run the risk of becoming more seriously ill rather than better. These programmes therefore target not only individuals but also institutions like schools and health centres.

The programmes also work on specific themes, like climate and food. Clean drinking water and decent sanitation and hygiene are essential if programmes promoting healthy diets are to succeed. Without clean drinking water and sanitation people will fall ill again and their health will deteriorate. As part of the UNICEF programme, Benin is therefore itself investing another €1 million in the link with food.

Integrated water management

Carel de Groot

Improved river basin management and safe deltas

The aim of this result area is more water security and flood safety for individuals and businesses.
In the reporting period, more than 669,000 people in Africa and Asia benefited from projects funded by the Netherlands for improved river basin management and safer deltas. The result achieved is lower than the target value of an average of 3 million people a year, but falls within the expected range of annual variations (in 2016/2017 more than 10 million people were reached).

Open result area

Carel de Groot

Results

Indicator

Water management

Progress

On track

More than 669,000 people in Asia and Africa benefited directly from projects funded by the Netherlands for improved river basin management and safer deltas.

The result achieved is lower than the target of an average of 3 million people a year, but falls within the expected range of annual variations (In the 2017/2018 reporting period more than 10 million people were reached).

According to UN Water around 700 million people are currently experiencing water scarcity, while floods are by far the most destructive natural disasters. In many places, people have no access to good quality water, partly because water sources are contaminated. Worldwide, around 80% of wastewater is discharged untreated.

The Netherlands’ target is to support 3 million people a year with improved water management. The result achieved is lower than the target, but falls within the expected range of annual variations (in 2017 more than 10 million people were reached).

Because water resource management cuts across political boundaries dividing municipalities, provinces and countries, water management needs to be organised at river basin level. A management plan for a river basin takes account of supply and demand and the impact of climate change on quantity and quality of the available water, and contains measures to ensure its optimum use. These plans allocate water to the various users. They also contain measures to increase the quantity of water available for users, to protect its quality and to maintain rivers’ ecological function. River basin management plans are drafted under the leadership of a river basin management authority, working with stakeholders. The main challenge is delivery. The organisations concerned often have too little capacity and too few financial resources to deliver the plans.

Results

The Netherlands supports the development of management plans for 16 river basins and deltas, through organisations like the Global Water Partnership and the World Bank’s Water Partnership Programme The programmes in question are multi-donor. The Netherlands calculates the number of plans it supports on the basis of its share in the funding of these organisations.

Progress in result area Integrated water management

More than 669,000 people in Africa and Asia benefited directly from projects funded by the Netherlands for improved river basin management and safer deltas.

The result achieved is lower than the target value of an average of 3 million people a year, but falls within the expected range of annual variations (in 2017 more than 10 million people were reached).

CIWA: working together for Africa’s waters

The programme Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) supports parties in seven transboundary river basins in regions including the Sahel, Horn of Africa and Great Lakes with the aim of improving water use. These regions are increasingly confronted by drought and conflict over scarce water, or are in need of protection against flooding. Vulnerable communities are usually the victims. Climate change is often causing the situation to deteriorate.

CIWA encourages countries within transboundary river basins to invest in information systems, institutions and infrastructure. That is more effective and more efficient than if countries act alone. This applies, for example, to storage of water in wet periods in countries upstream for use in dry periods by countries downstream. Flood alert systems are also far more effective if relevant information is shared. By working together, a country can generate energy with the same water that will be used by another country downstream for irrigation and to increase food security. This makes countries more resilient to climate change.

Governments often see political risks in transboundary cooperation on water. In unstable regions in particular, it is a slow and difficult process. For this reason, CIWA has a long-term agenda. The World Bank plays a crucial role – as a neutral party, trusted by the majority of African governments.

Information on this project can be found on the World Bank website.

Read more about the CIWA programme on the World Bank website.

Watershed

Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mali and Uganda and supports local organisations in standing up for the right to drinking water, sanitation and clean surface water. The partnership mainly focuses on supporting people whose voice is not easily heard, like the very poorest people, women and disabled people. Representatives of these groups receive training and support in standing up for their rights. The film shows how people in Uganda urge the government to take measures to address pollution in the river Mpanga.

Watershed

Read more about the Watershed programme on the IRC website.

Sanitation

Carel de Groot

Sanitation for 50 million people by 2030

This result area aims to provide a total of 50 million people with access to improved sanitation by 2030. In this reporting period, 5.3 million people gained access to improved sanitation. Like last year, this is far more than the target of 2.3 million people.

Open result area

Carel de Groot

Results

Indicator

Sanitation

Progress

On track

In the reporting period, 5.3 million people gained access to improved sanitation. Like last year, this figure far exceeded the target of 2.3 million people.

In 2015, 2.3 billion people had no access to basic, hygienic sanitation, and 800 million people were still defecating in the open. Lack of hygienic sanitation at home, at school or at work leads to health problems and loss of productive days. It also leads to truancy, especially among menstruating girls.

In the policy document ‘Investing in Global Prospects’, the government committed itself to providing 50 million people with access to sanitation in the period up to 2030. At the current rate, this goal is within reach.

Progress in result area Sanitation

In 2015 2.3 billion people had no access to basic, hygienic sanitation, and 800 million people were still defecating in the open field. Lack of hygienic sanitation at home, at school or at work leads to health problems and loss of productive days. It also leads to school absence, especially among girls on their periods.

Access to sanitation is not only being provided at home, but also at school. Schools also focus attention on hygiene during menstruation. This is essential to improve girls’ school attendance, contributing to better opportunities for girls and women.

Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP)

The Netherlands, along with several other donors, supports the World Bank’s Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP). This programme focuses worldwide on several themes: sustainable management of water sources and sustainable infrastructure, inclusion (involving everyone, including the very poorest people, in decisions relating to water), strengthening institutions, funding and climate resilience. The film shows how sanitation generates jobs in rural areas.

WASH SDG Consortium

WASH SDG Consortium

The aim of the WASH SDG programme is to provide access to clean drinking water for at least 450,000 people and access to sanitation for at least 2 million people. The programme also wants to promote good hygiene practices among another 1.6 million people. Access to safe drinking water and toilets is being provided not only at home, but also at school. Schools also focus attention on hygiene during menstruation. This is essential to improve girls’ school attendance, contributing to better opportunities for girls and women. The programme is being implemented in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Photo credits: Simavi/WASH SDG Consortium

Safe drinking water

LuxDev Niger

Safe drinking water for 30 million people by 2030

The aim of this result area is more water security and flood safety for individuals and businesses.

In the reporting period, more than 669,000 people in Africa and Asia benefited from projects funded by the Netherlands for improved river basin management and safer deltas. The result achieved is lower than the target value of an average of 3 million people a year, but falls within the expected range of annual variations (in 2016/2017 more than 10 million people were reached).

Open result area

LuxDev Niger

Results

Indicator

Safe drinking water

Progress

On track

In the reporting period, 2.9 million people gained access to an improved water source. For the second year in succession this was higher than the estimate (1.6 million).

In 2015, 844 million people worldwide still had no access to safe drinking water. Small children in particular are susceptible to water-borne illnesses. Women and girls suffer disproportionately from poor access to water, because they are often responsible for fetching it.

In the policy document ‘Investing in Global Prospects’, the government committed itself to providing 30 million people with access to clean drinking water in the period up to 2030. At the current rate, this goal is within reach.

Progress in result area Safe drinking water

More than 669,000 people in Africa and Asia benefited directly from projects funded by the Netherlands for improved river basin management and safer deltas.

The result achieved is lower than the target value of an average of 3 million people a year, but falls within the expected range of annual variations (in 2017 more than 10 million people were reached).

Water Operator Partnership in Homa Bay, Kenya

Water Operator Partnership in Homa Bay, Kenya

WaterWorX (WWX) is a Water Operator Partnership programme funded from the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation budget and by 10 Dutch water utility companies. The aim of the programme is to supply 10 million people with safe drinking water by 2030.

Three Water Operator Partnerships are currently active in Kenya under the WWX programme, in Nairobi, Nakuru and Homa Bay (see photo). The drinking water facility in Homa Bay has now doubled its productivity with the support of this programme. Renovation of a drinking water treatment plant, the pipeline network and several water kiosks has restored the water supply for Kendu Bay, a small town with a population of 15,000.

The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation is also funding sanitation projects in the same area. They include FINISH Mondial, which issues microcredits enabling people to pay for installation of sanitation facilities.

Photo credit: Pim van der Male, Inclusive Green Growth Department (IGG)/Water

Dunea WOP in Homa Bay, Kenya

Dunea WOP in Homa Bay, Kenya

Watershed

The Netherlands supports the Watershed partnership (IRC, Simavi, Wetlands International and AKVO). The programme is active in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mali and Uganda and supports local organisations in standing up for the right to drinking water, sanitation and clean surface water. The partnership mainly focuses on supporting people whose voice is not easily heard, like the very poorest people, women and disabled people. Representatives of these groups receive training and support in standing up for their rights. The film shows how a woman in Bangladesh represents her village in urging the government to install a pump for clean drinking water.

Read more about this project on the IRC website

Read more about the Watershed project on the IRC website

LuxDev Niger

Background information theme water management and drinking water, sanitation and hygiene

Background

The results for the three main result areas for water – safe drinking water, decent sanitation and improved water management – are on schedule. In the policy document ‘Investing in Global Prospects’, the government made a hard commitment in relation to drinking water and sanitation: to provide 30 million people with clean drinking water and 50 people with access to sanitation in the period up to 2030. At the current rate, this goal is within reach.

A target of 3 million people a year was set for improved water management. However, programmes relating to improved water management show major fluctuations in numbers of people reached. Programmes coming to an end or just getting off the ground have a major impact on these figures.

Glimpse into the future

It is essential to build and strengthen institutions in the water sector to ensure sustainable results in the future. Our aim is to improve service provision throughout the water supply chain, both local and national. Will wells still supply water in ten years’ time? And will toilets and sewage systems still work? In this connection, we are focusing on engaging stakeholders in decision-making processes, providing opportunities for women and girls, adapting to climate change and ensuring sustainable local funding. In the event of competing claims on scarce water supplies from the various sectors (agriculture, energy, households and nature) we adopt a landscape approach. This is a systematic approach in which producers, the local community, the private sector and government jointly determine what constitutes sustainable production and how it will contribute to a sustainable landscape, now and in the future.

The Netherlands is phasing out existing water-related programmes in Benin, Ghana, Indonesia and Rwanda. In the coming period, we will develop and start up new programmes in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and Middle East and North Africa regions. UNICEF, Aqua for All, the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, FAO and the World Bank are major partners. We will also seek cooperation with other countries, like Luxembourg, with considerable experience in the new focus regions.

Our approach to the three main result areas for water is not expected to change very much. Provided current efforts continue at the same level, the goals are within reach.

Additional sources

You can find exactly how the budget was allocated in 2019 and which projects were funded on our budget website.

  1. Visit the website
    Programme budget Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
  2. Select financial year 2019
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Video: ‘SDG 6: The Water Challenge’

Video on how the Netherlands is meeting the water challenge

Water as theme on central government

Page on current policy on the theme of water

Results overview

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Expenditure by channel

Metric

The budget in this figure is for the year 2019 and does not completely correspond with the results on this page, which have been collected between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019. More information on this can be found on the 'About the results report' page.