What we do

Sanitation and water are human rights! They must be provided without discrimination to all people. We advocate for implementation of these human rights in regulation and in practice and we help in giving guidance to regulators authorities or service providers. We build capactities of and give support in implementing sustainable water, sanitation or hygiene (WASH) services and management. We can provide training, workshops and education in governance issues. We do research and consultancy. By ensuring local participation and ownership, we make sure that solutions for water and sanitation provision and water resource management are sustainable in the long term and contribute to public health, properity and well-being for all.

WASH services must be accessible, available (24/7), affordable, culturally acceptable, safe and of good quality. To make sure that services are sustainable, it is necessary that people (citizens/users AND workers/providers) participate in decision making processes and during implementation, operation and maintenance of services. A multistakeholder process guarantees engagement of all and creates a necessary basis. To particpate in a meaningful way, people need access to (tranparent) information, and service providers must be accountable to their clients.

We work with governments, utilities, civil society organisations and knowledge institutes to advance and accelerate SDG 6: clean water and sanitation for all, worldwide, by 2030. We cooperate in alliances such as End Water Poverty, Action 4 Sustainable Development, Together 2030, the Butterfly Coalition, European Pact for Water and C20. See our partners and networks >

Sanitation

Two and a half billion people – over a third of the world’s population – live without adequate sanitation facilities. The human waste from another two billion residents in towns and cities is not safely treated and can end up dangerously polluting neighbourhoods, rivers, lakes or seas. Nearly 800 million people still do not have access to an improved source of drinking water protected from outside contamination.

Sanitation cannot be addressed in a stand-alone manner, just like water, health or food problems. They are interrelated and must be addressed in an integrated way. Read more >

 

Water

Water is life. No life without water. It is as simple as that! But it is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.

Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water. Read more >

 

Health

Access to safe water and adequate sanitation services has proven to be one of the most efficient ways of improving human health. The World Health Organization has estimated the economic costs avoided, and returns gained, by various levels of investment in water supply and sanitation services: every $1 invested in improved water supply and sanitation yields gains of $4 to $12, depending on the type of intervention.

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Worker participation

Participation is a central element in realizing the human rights to water and sanitation and key to inclusive, equitable and sustainable services. People are at the core of Sustainable Development.

SDG 6.B calls for the support for and strengthening of the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.  The SDGs strive for a socially and environmentally just world in which all people can live a life in dignity. People are the actors in development processes, not only as citizens that want to have a decent life in which they receive good quality water, sanitation and health services, but also as workers that provide these services.

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Water Justice

Water justice encompasses a much broader area than the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation. Yet, as human rights are universal, they stand at the basis of achieving global water justice. Water as a natural resource is unevenly devided on our planet. And it is a precious resource, the basis of life itself. Water Justice refers to the usage of water: as it is essential for life, it must be safeguarded and protected for all, present and future generations and it must be used fairly and wisely. Overexploitation of water (or water resources) by ‘one’ that causes shortage or suffering for ‘another’ is an injustice that cannot be justified. Pollution of water by ‘one’ that causes sickness or suffering to ‘another’ or destruction of ecosystems and livelihoods cannot be accepted either. To achieve a fair, sustainable and just use by all, a good governance of water and environment is necessary. Good governance includes participation (of all stakeholders) transparency (by all stakeholders) and accountabillity (of all stakeholders).

A legal framework usually offers the basis, but in case such a legal framework is non-existent or does not address “justice” matters, guidelines and best practices should be used to ensure water justice. In some places the legal framework only consolidates inequalities and strengthens the power of dominant groups in society. In such situations struggles for water occur to redistribute the “use of” and “rights to” water/sanitation/environment/natural resources. Justice requires support for deprived or least priviledged and often least powerful groups in society. Water justice struggles are not only about a fair distribution and use of water, but also about achieving a fair and socially and environmentally sustainable society.

EuSAIN participates in the Allianza Justicia Hidrica. Read more >