Simavi WASH Programme

Access to drinking water and sanitation is a basic human right and an essential condition for a healthy life, but that doesn’t mean it’s distributed equally around the world. Contaminated drinking water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene are an urgent and growing health problem.

Over 663 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources and 2.4 billion people lack improved sanitation facilities. Contaminated water is the leading cause of preventable diseases (such as diarrhoea, typhus and cholera), deaths and economic loss. More people die of diarrhoea every day than HIV or AIDS – yet this can be easily prevented when adequate WASH services are in place. Furthermore, water is essential for increasing food security and for other development goals, such as education and gender equality.

Increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and informing communities about proper hygiene, reduces the chances of contracting many diseases. Children go to school more often, families spend less on medication and women have more time for work, the family, housekeeping and food production.

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Overall objective

Improve access to, and use of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services.

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Realisation of the right to water and sanitation requires (local) government, civil society organisations, the private sector and communities to work together in a concerted effort to change the situation.

Simavi stimulates local partners to develop and strengthen their partnerships with relevant stakeholders, such as local government and private WASH entrepreneurs, to ensure that everyone involved in the local WASH sector is working with, and complementing, each other. Furthermore, Simavi encourages communities to get together and enables them to demand quality services for safe drinking water, sanitation and good hygiene.

When a community lacks water – and there are no other plans to improve the situation – Simavi supports local partners in the construction of new community water supplies. The improvement of existing supplies and the training of users and mechanics in sustainable operation and maintenance of the systems provided are also organised.

Communities are stimulated through participatory discussions, exchange visits and participatory problem identification to address their WASH problems. Awareness on problems related to not using a latrine will increase the construction of household latrines by households, using the resources available to them. Creating revolving funds, or linking to credit facilities, will increase the funding opportunities households have to improve their latrines. Younger generations are exposed to appropriate hygiene behaviour (like using a hygienic latrine and washing hands) via school-based activities like awareness campaigns and improvements to the water supply and sanitation situation.


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In 2015, the Simavi WASH programme were implemented in the Simavi focus countries with funding from different types of sources, such as foundations and contributions fromthe general Dutch public.

Together with its partners, Simavi tracked several key output and outcome indicators. These are some of the results:

Enabling environment

  • 759 people (target: 249) who learned about social accountability or trained on policy influencing

Sustainable services

  • 942,349 people (target: 529,586) utilising WASH
  • 139,313 people (target: 70,525) with access to improved sanitation services
  • 48,330 households (target: 39,254) with access to water
  • 82 public places (target: 24) with improved WASH facilities

You can find a complete programme results overview of 2015 here.

Situation Approach Result

Programme information

  • Simavi Budget

    € 0.5 million

  • Overal Budget

    € 0.5 million

  • Location

    Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia

  • Alliance partners


  • Implementing partners

    CABDA, Kamadep Kenia, NEWAH Nepal, PTSC Bangladesh and TDFT Tanzania.

  • Donors

    These projects were financed through funds from private donors, corporate sponsors and foundations in the Netherlands.

  • Role of Simavi

    These projects are coordinated and implemented by Simavi.

Do you want to know more about the Simavi WASH programme?

Please contact our colleague Tim Sutton.
+31 (0)88 313 15 64

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