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Sanitation and Water for All: A Global Partnership

Sanitation and Water for All: A Global Partnership
Access to clean water is a basic human right. Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is a partnership made up of over 150 country governments, research and learning institutions, external support agencies and civil society and private sector organizations that aims to drive political action that will contribute to accountability and the effective use of resources.

The organization aims to universally and permanently provide safe water and sanitation services across the globe. By fighting for secure and equitable access to clean water, SWA is motivating governments to prioritize this issue and strengthening legislative presences relating to clean water and sanitation.

SWA recognizes the failings of the global community in providing the world’s people with adequate sanitation facilities and access to clean water as well as the implications of these failings. Approximately 2.4 billion people live today without access to quality sanitation means, and 663 million still lack improved water sources.

Both children and adults die every day from diseases caused by unsafe water or lack of appropriate sanitation and hygiene. These diseases strain already ineffective health systems in vulnerable communities and take away from economic productivity. When women and girls are required to walk dozens of miles each week to obtain clean water, they effectively miss out on educational opportunities or chances to become involved in civil society.

The SWA was initially founded with the purpose of addressing water-related millennium development goals and aiding countries that were struggling to reach these goals. Now the partnership focuses on the sustainable development goals (SGDs) related to the WASH sector and is committed to playing a crucial role in reaching SDG targets.

The SWA identifies and outlines the issues involved with the inability to address the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sector of policy. Investment in WASH often competes with the financial need to support health, education, infrastructure and other aspects of society.

Another issue is that while many countries have decided upon comprehensive plans relating to water and sanitation, they often lack the capacity to implement these plans in an influential way. This inability to successfully put plans into action can defer investors and political leaders from further contributing to the WASH-related legislature. On the other hand, many countries still lack the information and aid to even construct a plan to protect and improve water, sanitation and hygiene.

Through the alignment of donors behind transparent and accountable means of national planning, the harmonization of countries and organizations, mutual accountability and management of results, the SWA hopes to continuously advocate both domestically and internationally for people who lack clean water or sanitation.

Sanitation and Water for All aims to “turn the current situation around by creating a virtuous cycle of robust planning, institutional strengthening, better resources utilization and higher investment” that has the likelihood of creating an environment where everyone has access to clean water and effective sanitation measures.

Peyton Jacobsen

Photo: Flickr