A woman drinking water from a water pump in Mali.
Photo: Curt Carnemark/World Bank
Water and sanitation
World countries have succeeded in reaching the Millennium Development Goal to halve the number of people without access to clean water. However, when it comes to the second objective – increasing access to sanitation – the situation looks far bleaker just before the deadline in 2015.
Clean water and access to sustainable sanitation can be a matter of life or death. Although the proportion of people in poor countries with access to clean water increased from 71 per cent (1990) to 84 per cent (2008), 800 million (2011) people in the world still lack access to good quality water.
Access to sanitation has not, however, seen the same positive trend. One in three people in the world lacks access to a toilet or a latrine, which, together with poor hygiene, leads to diseases that every day kill 1,800 children. Children under 15 years are particularly hit hard, and for them diseases such as diarrhoea are a greater problem than HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis altogether. This is why access to clean water and sustainable sanitation solutions is the area that receives the second largest part of our budget for activities within the water sector.
Half of Sida's overall support to water and sanitation (2012/2013) goes to provision of clean water, sanitation and toilets, as well as management of sewage and waste disposal. We support many countries directly through bilateral support. One example is Kenya, where a water law paved the way for a major water sector reform. The goal is to primarily help poor people get access to cheap and clean water and sanitation solutions, in a long-term sustainable way.
Sida supports reform of Kenya's water sector and has put more emphasis on sustainable water management and rights perspective in order to prioritise those most in need. Among others, we also support local associations by providing rural areas in Kenya with clean water.
The reforms have been progressing slowly but surely. Effects of climate change are evident in Kenya, the country increasingly affected by floods and droughts. Through the water programme, we also seek to strengthen adaptability at all levels.
Sida's global support to water and sanitation is primarily about increasing access to sustainable water and sanitation solutions for people living in poverty. We do this by cooperating with e.g. the Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP), the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) and UNICEF (WASH).
We also contribute with support for global cooperation within the water sector, such as the Global Water Partnership (GWP), Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP), UN-Water, and major international civil society organisations such as the Stockholm International Water Institute, SIWI and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).
Sweden and Sida's total budget, including the indicative (planned) support, amounts to about SEK 1.6 billion (2013 to 2017), which is and will be used to increase access to safe drinking water, and improve sanitation and hygiene, especially for women and children.