© Helvetas / Flurina Rothenberger

Our Expertise and Services: Water

© Helvetas / Flurina Rothenberger

Helvetas supports local governments in ensuring sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene services for all. We facilitate the equitable sharing of water resources and help create fair water policies.

The importance of water and sanitation 

Access to water and sanitation is a human right. The UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development recognizes water as key to sustainable development. Access to safe water, basic sanitation and good hygiene practices creates opportunities for improved education, health and economic development. It also tends to impact most positively on women, since in low-income countries women generally bear the burden of domestic water management. Improving water resource management is also key to equitable development, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, sustainable agriculture and the prevention of conflicts.

What we do

Helvetas works with local partners to strengthen local governments in making water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services available for all. We help create spaces where local governments, civil society, and the private sector coordinate their activities to ensure services reach the most disadvantaged people – and do so in an effective and accountable way.

We analyze and seek to understand key behavior change determinants such as social norms. Our interventions to improve water quality, handwashing and latrine use build on this understanding.

We join hands with our sustainable agriculture and climate change colleagues to find water security solutions. Systematic stakeholder dialogues help us contribute to a fair and equitable distribution of water resources.

We strengthen the capacity of key local actors in developing national strategies, improving water governance and creating innovations.

© Helvetas
© Helvetas
© Helvetas
© Helvetas
© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
© Helvetas / Narendra Shrestha
© Helvetas / Narendra Shrestha
© Helvetas
Solar Solarzellen Solarenergie Sonnenenergie Jikura © Helvetas
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

What we offer

  • Fifty years of experience in the water sector
  • Expertise in strengthening local governance to improve WASH service delivery to the most disadvantaged women and men in rural and urban areas
  • Sustainability assessments of WASH services
  • Advice on designing behavior change interventions that effectively improve water quality, handwashing and latrine use
  • Support in developing sanitation interventions in rural and semi-urban areas, and in designing household water treatment and safe storage, including supply chains for water treatment products
  • Implementation of approaches that contribute to water security such as water use master plans, water buffering (recharge, retention, and reuse) and water stewardship
  • Support in institution building, including strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems and in advocacy and policy development

Contact our team

Our multilingual advisory team offers wide-ranging thematic expertise and has in-depth experience in navigating complex processes. Based in Switzerland and abroad, we work in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Selected projects

Helvetas develops and guides projects. To be sustainable, they must be locally embedded. We support our partners in effectively organizing projects and processes and assist local authorities in assuming their responsibilities. 

Climate & Disaster Resilience

Every year, we support over 1,000,000 people in adapting to climate change, reducing the risks of disasters, sustainably managing natural resources, and conserving nature.

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.

Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.