Climate Resilient Rural WASH Services

The Climate Resilient Rural WASH approach supports local governments to realise the human rights to water, sanitation and hygiene in their jurisdiction, responding to demographic and climatic changes.

SNV’s vision of a world where everybody leads a dignified life and enjoys equitable opportunities to thrive sustainably can only be achieved if we address the multiple challenges we face today holistically and in an integrated manner. This includes accelerating progress to ensure that all people in rural areas have sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Over the past decade, the world has been gripped by headlines about the climate crisis. Due to the relatively small climate footprint and low political weight of rural populations, attention to rural WASH and its climate resilience has been limited.

Limited investments in WASH are increasing the climate vulnerability of rural populations in multiple ways. There is heightened risk of infrastructure collapse and interrupted services because many are now beyond their expected lifespan. Increased (but unregulated) on-premises connections are driving up water use, often leaving rural households in search of multiple sources. Moreover, changes in the hydrological cycle are likely to lead to conflict with other uses and increase rural exposure to climate-induced disasters.

Within our Climate Resilient Rural WASH (CRRWASH) approach, we work with local governments, civil society, and private sectors toward achieving a sustainable area-wide WASH service delivery system for districts, sub-counties, and/or woredas. Through the application of an area-wide approach, we seek to leave no-one behind. Our work covers all households and public spaces (schools, health care facilities, transport hubs) and uses the advantage of scale to achieve financial sustainability.

The focus of our CRRWASH approach includes strengthening WASH governance, social support systems, and regulation, improving the performance of rural service providers, raising the quality of infrastructure construction and rehabilitation, implementing evidence-based behavioural change, and making consumer supply chains and financing more robust.

For SNV, rural communities' water security, food security, health and livelihoods, and climate resilience are intrinsically linked to the presence of quality and reliable water and safely managed sanitation services.

Relevant resources

The CRRWASH approach builds on more than ten years of SNV experience and engagement in rural sanitation and rural water development.

Click on image above to access rural sanitation resources