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Access to water and to basic sanitation is a human right. Caritas Switzerland recognises this and enables disadvantaged people to get access to drinking and service water as well as to sanitation. This involves building wells and sanitary installations, establishing usage rights and raising awareness. 


People need water to survive. We drink water, we use it for hygienic purposes, we give it to our livestock and use it to irrigate the fields, we use large quantities of it in industry, we produce energy with it and transport our goods on it. Because water is vital to human survival, access to sufficient and clean water is a human right. And yet,

  • 1.8 billion people still have no access to clean drinking water and more than 2,5 billion have no sanitary facilities at their disposal,
  • a quarter of all deaths in developing countries are due to contaminated water,
  • already, conflicts around this scarce resource are taking place across the globe,
  • due to climate change, rain no longer falls regularly and with the same intensity. Droughts and floods are becoming common occurrences.

Just as the use and availability of water varies, so the Caritas water projects also differ accordingly. Springs are tapped, wells drilled, dams and sanitary installations built. Caritas is involved in awareness-raising work on water use and hygiene, establishes rules for water utilisation rights and mitigates the worst impacts of disasters by building flood protection dams and taking protective measures against soil erosion. And true to its commitment to helping people to help themselves, Caritas brings together local government representatives, village water committees and craftsmen so they can solve their problems themselves.


Selected Water Projects

  • Water Projects & Expertise
    File format: pdf / 758 KB
    Poster visualising the activities and expertise of Caritas Switerland with respect to water Download

Further information

  • Flyer : Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
    File format: pdf / 568 KB
    Having access to safe drinking water and sanitation are human rights. We contribute to improving the health and well-being of poor, marginalised groups by enabling equitable access to, and sustainable management of, safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and by improving hygiene practices (WASH). Furthermore, we aim to strengthen the resilience of the population by ensuring sustainable access to water for enhanced food production. Download
  • Excerpt IC Programme 2020: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
    File format: pdf / 345 KB
    Water is a prerequisite for fighting hunger and poverty. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognised access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation as basic human rights. Although significant progress has been made in the provision of drinking water in the past decade, more than 663 million people still lack access to improved drinking water sources. In addition, a staggering 2.4 billion people – more than one third of the world’s population – lack access to improved sanitation (UNICEF, WHO 2015). Close to half of the population in developing countries are suffering from health problems caused by poor water and sanitary conditions and lack of hygiene practice at any one time, with children under five being particularly vulnerable (UN 2011). Download

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