Water and Sanitation

Water is a major challenge for the 21st century. Shortages, poor water quality and the lack of sanitation facilities have a negative impact on food security, health, gender equality and living conditions for disadvantaged people. For AFD, water is also a vital resource which needs to be protected and managed for the benefit of all. This is the overriding vision in the large number of projects for access to water and sanitation which we are supporting all over the world.
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Kenya, shower in Kibera's shanty town
AFD, water and sanitation: more effectively managing resources and addressing the challenges of universal access
water access, Kinshasa

Supporting the definition of clear and effective sectoral frameworks

Jodhpur, water, India

Supporting the definition of clear and effective sectoral frameworks

AFD’s top priority is to strengthen national and local governance to ensure there is a sustainable technical and financial management of the sector, and thereby support our partners beyond the funded projects.

Some 50% of projects provide for institutional support and over 80% include capacity building actions.

Providing high-quality water and sanitation services

Water distribution, school, Ouganda, Gentilhomme

Providing high-quality water and sanitation services

In the contexts of rapid urban and population growth experienced by many developing countries, ensuring access to water and sanitation poses a major challenge. AFD addresses this challenge by financing the construction and rehabilitation of drinking water production and distribution infrastructure, primarily targeting precarious neighborhoods and areas of urban sprawl.

These projects are defined in consultation with the authorities responsible for water and sanitation services and pay special attention to public places, such as schools and health centers. They also include hygiene awareness-raising campaigns in order to reduce the incidence of diseases related to the consumption of unsafe water.

AFD is particularly vigilant over the sustainability of the infrastructure it finances and works closely with its partners to ensure the quality and sustainability of water and sanitation services. It also ensures they are accessible to all, including the poorest.

Rural areas are not neglected: specific programs are implemented in small towns and rural villages to provide levels of service comparable to those developed in large urban centers.

Sutainably managing water resources

waste water processing, Morocco, sanitation, Zizola

Sutainably managing water resources

To meet the strong increase in demand, AFD advocates for integrated water resources management (IWRM). This ensures that there is a concerted distribution between the various uses (agricultural, domestic, energy, industrial) and that the needs of ecosystems are taken into account.

In a context of climate change, especially droughts, our top priority is the efficiency of water use in the activities with the highest consumption: agriculture, industry and drinking water. The objective is to preserve both the quantity and quality of resources.

To preserve the quantity, we support projects to reduce losses and waste, initiatives to renew groundwater reserves, and “non-conventional” measures, such as wastewater reuse for agriculture and industry, seawater desalination and the construction of dams.

To preserve the quality, we finance the construction of domestic water treatment plants and industrial effluent treatment plants.
 

Controlling flood risks

Fortaleza, flood, street, Cardoso

Controlling flood risks

Floods are the phenomenon which affects the most people worldwide. Asia is the most exposed continent in the world: 9 out of the 10 most affected countries are Asian.

AFD finances stormwater management projects in large cities, where floods cause major damage and hinder economic development. These projects are located in vulnerable areas and improve the resilience of cities by contributing to adaptation to climate change. Our flood risk management strategy is based on three complementary and interconnected principles: prevention, preparation and a culture of risk-awareness.

To prevent risks, AFD promotes an organization of the territory which anticipates the occurrence of a flood well before the crisis situation. Our priorities: limit urbanization in flood-prone areas and manage land use. We also prepare the populations in question for the management of the crisis in order to facilitate the reaction to the occurrence of a flood. The objective: make sure people are safe and ensure a rapid return to normality of the main services and activities in the territory. Finally, we transmit a culture of risk-awareness to all stakeholders (public and private institutions, civil society and the population) to improve the resilience and adaptation capacity of cities.

1.3
billion euros committed in 2019
5,3
million people will benefit from a safely managed drinking water supply service
1,9
million people will have access to a safely managed sanitation service

Access to water and sanitation is a central sustainable development issue. It has been recognized by the United Nations as a human right since 2010. Water resources are a source of life and biodiversity. They are a global good and their preservation is one of the main environment challenges of the 21st century. Water and sanitation are also essential drivers for greener and more inclusive growth. 

The priority given to water and sanitation and sustainable water management on the international agenda for the fight against poverty for over ten years now has enabled considerable strides. However, a great deal of progress still needs to be achieved: over two billion people do not have access to a quality drinking water service at home, and over one person in three does not have appropriate sanitation. Water resources are under pressure and are also particularly vulnerable to climate change. Finally, the sector still suffers from a lack of governance, which reduces its effectiveness and holds back potential investors.

At 31 December 2019, 220 AFD-funded projects were ongoing in the water and sanitation sector. This represents a total amount of AFD financing of EUR 6.5bn, EUR 4.8bn of which are undisbursed. 

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Tanzania: Cleaner Water for Mwanza

A dilapidated drinking and waste water network represents a threat to the population and the environment. In Mwanza, on the banks of Lake Victoria in Tanzania, most of the inhabitants of the country’s second-largest city have experienced the chronic epidemics transmitted by waste water that stagnates until the rainy season, when it is washed down to the lake. Those days are over, however, thanks to a new kind of sanitary blocks.
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