Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

The goal of NCA’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme is for healthy communities to access equitable and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services. Access to safe water, adequate sanitation facilities, practicing key hygienic behaviours and living in a ‘‘clean’’ environment is a fundamental pre-condition for people’s health and social and economic development. The lack of such conditions particularly exposes children and people with a reduced immune system to the threat of transmissible diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid and other diseases. Unhygienic conditions cause the death of 1.8 million people due to diarrhoea and other water related diseases. Disparities in access to WASH services are due to geographic, economic and socio-cultural inequalities. 


Implementing Countries

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NCA works with communities to establish and manage their own WASH systems. NCA prioritises women’s participation in the decision-making and management of water committees. In Ethiopia, women comprised 46% of water committee membership and in Mali 51%. Beyond women’s participation in committees, it was equally important to have women in senior positions such as chairperson, secretary, or treasurer. In the DRC, 53% of these positions were held by women. 

NCA and its partners enabled rights-holders to engage with duty bearers on service delivery, while also providing technical training to government officials on WASH-related issues. In 2018, NCA and its partners facilitated 341 meetings between rights-holders and local government where citizens presented needs and priorities on WASH issues. 

Our work on hygiene behaviour focuses on training community-based hygiene promoters and working with communities to develop targeted awareness campaigns. Improvements in water supply and quality, access to sanitation facilities and handwashing with soap had a direct impact on the prevalence of diarrhoea cases in children under 5. Diarrhoeal episodes among children under 5 years of age reduced considerably by an average of 25% points in the targeted areas. 

NCA’s approach to sanitation is anchored in community-led approaches, where results are determined by the community’s actions and choices, not just NCA’s. In Ethiopia, 75% of the targeted population expressed satisfaction with sanitation services (against 3.8% during the baseline year). In 2018, a total of 214,413 people gained access to sanitation services across the programme. Equitable access to public water and sanitation services for people living with disabilities is an important issue for inclusion. In 2018, 46% of water supply and sanitation facilities were adapted to people living with disabilities. 

In 2018, 873,918 women, men, girls and boys accessed a minimum level of basic water supply services. The main innovation within the WASH programme was the introduction and use of solar electric water pumping. This was done in Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Mali, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. During the past few years, there has been a global reduction of prices for solar electrical equipment for water pumping. 

This has made it possible for solar electrical equipment to become a technological alternative to other small and large-scale water pumping options like diesel driven generator sets or hand pumps. The capital investment of a solar pump is higher than the alternatives, but operational and maintenance costs are lower. After about 3 years of use, the solar system ‘‘breaks even’’ with diesel driven alternatives and is thereafter cheaper in view of live-cycle costing. In 2018, NCA constructed 156 solar powered pumping stations. Assuming that each solar pumping station provides water to 2,000 people, NCA reached about 312,000 people with solar electric water pumping. 

WASH Donor Percentage

Results case

Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for management of water utilities