Skip to main content

Securing Water for
Ecosystems and People

Invisible Water

Water flows across borders and through all areas of life. The many pressing global challenges the world faces – such as climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem loss, groundwater depletion or environmental pollution are all connected to water.

 

Invisible Water sheds light on some of the invisible, tabooed, and stigmatized issues in connection with water and sanitation, and shows how people in six countries are actively finding solutions – with the support of German development cooperation.

What do you think?

How many people worldwide lack access to drinking water?

62 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, 2.2 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water worldwide. Yet having sufficient, safe, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use has been recognized as a human right since 2010. In addition, the human right to accessible and affordable sanitation in all spheres of life has been recognized separately since 2015.

  • 25%Answer 02
  • 13%Answer 03
25 %

... of all respondents were also right.

Worldwide, 2.2 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water. Yet having sufficient, safe, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use has been recognized as a human right since 2010. In addition, the human right to accessible and affordable sanitation in all spheres of life has been recognized separately since 2015.

  • 62%Answer 01
  • 13%Answer 03
13 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, 2.2 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water worldwide. Yet having sufficient, safe, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use has been recognized as a human right since 2010. In addition, the human right to accessible and affordable sanitation in all spheres of life has been recognized separately since 2015.

  • 62%Answer 01
  • 25%Answer 02

What do you think?

How many people are affected by water scarcity worldwide?

39 %

... of all respondents were also right.

According to the United Nations, 25% of the world's population face severe water shortages – that’s almost 2.3 billion people. Of these, 733 million live in countries with severe water scarcity.

  • 42%Answer 02
  • 19%Answer 03
42 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, according to the United Nations, 25% of the world's population face severe water shortages – that’s almost 2.3 billion people. Of these, 733 million live in countries with severe water scarcity.

  • 39%Answer 01
  • 19%Answer 03
19 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, according to the United Nations, 25% of the world's population face severe water shortages – that’s almost 2.3 billion people. Of these, 733 million live in countries with severe water scarcity.

  • 39%Answer 01
  • 42%Answer 02

Finding solutions from
Bolivia to Pakistan

How does Ana, a Bolivian farmer and beekeeper, adapt to the impact of climate change? How come Rehana, a student, can now go back to school in Pakistan? And how does Samson manage his stigmatized job as a sanitation worker in Zambia?

 

Find out how solar-pumped irrigation systems support Amina’s women’s cooperative in Niger, what upcycling measures fisherman Godfrey in Uganda uses to clear water bodies from plastic waste, and how Imam Mohamad contributes to combating water scarcity in his mosque in Jordan.

Making water visible

The following six individual portraits demonstrate how German development cooperation together with its partner countries is finding tangible solutions to global water and sanitation crises. In a joint effort, they are working towards making the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 “clean water and sanitation” and other associated SDGs more visible, and showing what can be done to create a liveable, healthy and secure environment. Let’s get started!

Empowering Women with the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus

Securing Water for
Ecosystems and People

El Villar, Bolivia

Ana, rural farmer in Bolivia

Ana lives in the rural Azero River basin in southern Bolivia. She cultivates crops and keeps bees at 1,500 meters above sea level. At this altitude, water is a scarce resource. Ana and her community depend on water from the Azero River, which is frequently threatened by contamination from sewage, erosion and grazing.

 

As a farmer and beekeeper, climate change has a direct impact on Ana’s livelihood. Prolonged periods of drought in summer harm the productivity of her agricultural crops and beehives, while her fields are flooded in the rainy season. “When the water comes all at once, it washes away our land and the trees along the banks of the river,” says Ana. She supports her own and other communities in the basin as head of the social council of the Azero River.

What do you think?

What share of global natural disasters are water-related?

33 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, three quarters of global natural disasters are in connection with water – such as droughts, floods or storms. And this trend is expected to grow. Since 2000, more than three billion people have been adversely affected by water-related natural disasters.  

  • 25%Answer 02
  • 42%Answer 03
25 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, three quarters of global natural disasters are in connection with water – such as droughts, floods or storms. And this trend is expected to grow. Since 2000, more than three billion people have been adversely affected by water-related natural disasters.  

  • 33%Answer 01
  • 42%Answer 03
42 %

... of all respondents were also right.

Three quarters of global natural disasters are in connection with water – such as droughts, floods or storms. And this trend is expected to grow. Since 2000, more than three billion people have been adversely affected by water-related natural disasters.

  • 33%Answer 01
  • 25%Answer 02

Climate change endangers
rural livelihoods

Water and climate change are inextricably linked. Bolivia is one of the countries where the consequences of climate change are most visible: 60% of the annual rainfall in the Azero basin occurs in just four months of the year, leading to water shortages in the remaining eight months.  

 

On the other hand, the effects of climate change for people who rely on water are often indirect, and therefore invisible: For example, in farming and beekeeping, a water shortage often leads to a poor harvest. “The lack of water only becomes apparent in the flowering season. When there is little water and few blossoms, our bees cannot collect much for the hives,” says Ana. 

 

This also impacts biodiversity in the Azero River Basin. The loss of vegetation increases the risk of flooding during the rainy season.

What do you think?

How many different plant and animal species are found in the Azero River basin?

23 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, more than 1,000 plant and animal species can be found in and around the Azero River – including alders and columnar cacti, the migratory dorado catfish, fire-bellied toads and iguanas, cormorants and toucans, tapirs and jaguars. This biological diversity contributes to ecosystem services, such as pollination, water and carbon storage.

  • 26%Answer 02
  • 51%Answer 03
26 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, more than 1,000 plant and animal species can be found in and around the Azero River – including alders and columnar cacti, the migratory dorado catfish, fire-bellied toads and iguanas, cormorants and toucans, tapirs and jaguars. This biological diversity contributes to ecosystem services, such as pollination, water and carbon storage.

  • 23%Answer 01
  • 51%Answer 03
51 %

... of all respondents were also right.

More than 1,000 plant and animal species can be found in and around the Azero River – including alders and columnar cacti, the migratory dorado catfish, fire-bellied toads and iguanas, cormorants and toucans, tapirs and jaguars. This biological diversity contributes to ecosystem services, such as pollination, water and carbon storage.

  • 23%Answer 01
  • 26%Answer 02

Restoring wetlands for biodiversity

Wetlands situated upstream from the community serve as natural water reservoirs and protect the cultivated fields from drying up throughout the year. “In the Azero River basin, we need to restore wetlands, forests and native plants. That way, we will have plenty of water,” says Ana.

 

German development cooperation supports Ana’s community in adapting to the climatic and agricultural conditions. Harvesting rainwater in cisterns and improving the efficiency of smallholder irrigation help to boost agricultural productivity.

 

Moreover, 1000 hectares are being reforested. In the long term, this will increase water availability, enhancing the community’s climate resilience and biodiversity. But Ana knows that water problems and the effects of climate change can only be tackled in a joint effort.

Inclusive decision-making

Working together to ensure sustainable water management within and across communities in the basin has proven successful in adapting to climate change. Since 2020, Ana has been head of the Azero social council, comprising ten neighboring municipalities.

 

Together with local and national authorities and with the help of German development cooperation, the council approved the Azero River Basin Management Plan in 2021. This identifies the needs of water users and determines joint measures for climate-resilient water management at different governance levels in the basin.

 

As an indigenous woman descended from generations of farmers, Ana is especially well suited to her role in the council: “As leader, I am responsible for helping my community to realize the Management Plan with the aim of improving access to water resources.”

More information

German development cooperation is committed to the conservation of water bodies and wetlands to secure the supply of drinking water and food. The water sector is one of the three largest bilateral sectors for adapting to climate change.

 

In terms of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the efforts in Bolivia go beyond tackling SDG 6 (“clean water and sanitation”) to include SDG 13 (“climate action”), and SDG 15 (“restoring life on land”) – which also helps Ana's bees.

 

If you would like to know more about the Azero River basin and German development cooperation efforts to achieve SDG 6 in Bolivia and around the world, then check out our websites and the following publications:

 

Women of the Azero River Basin 

River Basin: implications for its conservation and water security in the region 

Climate change and development 

PROCUENCA

Líneas Estratégicas del Plan Director de la Cuenca del río Azero 

The 17 Goals

In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was unanimously adopted by the member states of the United Nations. With the 2030 Agenda, the global community has set itself 17 goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) for socially, economically and ecologically sustainable development. The 17 goals apply universally and equally to all countries. They range from the eradication of global hunger to strengthening sustainable consumption and production to measures for climate protection.

SDG's

Alternative Development

Sustainable Development Goal 6 and related goals

sustainable development goal 01

Goal 01

Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. Its consequences are felt worldwide in our politically and economically closely interwoven world.

sustainable development goal 02

Goal 02

Eradicate hunger, achieve food security and better nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. With the special initiative "ONE WORLD - NO HUNGER", the German development cooperation is contributing to achieving this goal.

sustainable development goal 03

Goal 03

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This is one of the most important tasks.

sustainable development goal 04

Goal 04

Ensure inclusive, equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. - Because education is a human right.

sustainable development goal 05

Goal 05

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Gender equality is a fundamental factor for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 06

Goal 06

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. - This is a fundamental requirement for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 07

Goal 07

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Because without energy, development is not possible.

sustainable development goal 08

Goal 08

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment as well as decent work for all.

sustainable development goal 09

Goal 09

Build a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. After all, many rural regions in developing countries do not yet have adequate transport routes and means of transport.

sustainable development goal 10

Goal 10

Reduce inequality within and among countries. Reducing these inequalities contributes to sustainable economic growth and strengthens the social cohesion of a society.

sustainable development goal 11

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The BMZ supports a wide range of projects that sustainably improve the living conditions of the urban population.

sustainable development goal 12

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The change to a sustainable economy and lifestyle will only succeed if we change our consumption habits and production techniques.

sustainable development goal 13

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Germany is a pioneer in the field of energy system transformation and would like to further strengthen this role worldwide in the interests of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 14

Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. - An essential factor of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 15

Goal 15

Protect restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

sustainable development goal 16

Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

sustainable development goal 17

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. Only with such a global partnership the goals of Agenda 2030 can be achieved.

sustainable development goal 01
sustainable development goal 02
sustainable development goal 03
sustainable development goal 04
sustainable development goal 05
sustainable development goal 06
sustainable development goal 07
sustainable development goal 08
sustainable development goal 09
sustainable development goal 10
sustainable development goal 11
sustainable development goal 12
sustainable development goal 13
sustainable development goal 14
sustainable development goal 15
sustainable development goal 16
sustainable development goal 17
The Heroes Behind Urban Sanitation

Empowering Women with the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus

Kollo, Niger

Amina, leader of women’s
cooperative in Niger

Amina, leader of a women's cooperative with 40 members in the department of Kollo in Niger, West Africa. Her village is located near the Niger River and the cooperative cultivates vegetables and fruits for their own consumption and sale at the market.

 

As the principal river of West Africa and the third-longest on the African continent, the Niger River sustains the livelihoods of some 160 million people daily.

 

It not only provides drinking water and preserves biodiversity in the region, but also enables hydropower generation, irrigated agriculture, cattle breeding, fishing, and transportation – making it a lifeline for the nine riparian countries of the Niger Basin: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.

What do you think?

What share of global freshwater resources is used by the agricultural sector?

42 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, 69% of global freshwater resources is used by the agricultural sector alone. On top of that, 30% of global energy consumption goes into food production, while 90% of global power is generated through water-intensive technologies. This shows that water, energy and food are inextricably linked. Policy changes in one sector automatically impact the others.

  • 35%Answer 02
  • 23%Answer 03
35 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, 69% of global freshwater resources is used by the agricultural sector alone. On top of that, 30% of global energy consumption goes into food production, while 90% of global power is generated through water-intensive technologies. This shows that water, energy and food are inextricably linked. Policy changes in one sector automatically impact the others.

  • 42%Answer 01
  • 23%Answer 03
23 %

... of all respondents were also right.
 

69% of global freshwater resources is used by the agricultural sector alone. On top of that, 30% of global energy consumption goes into food production, while 90% of global power is generated through water-intensive technologies. This shows that water, energy and food are inextricably linked. Policy changes in one sector automatically impact the others.

  • 42%Answer 01
  • 35%Answer 02

Climate change increases vulnerability
of rainfed agriculture

Amina and her colleagues in the women’s cooperative cultivate vegetable gardens on about 1.2 ha of land. Their lives have long been impacted by climate change.

 

Traditionally, the cooperative practiced rainfed agriculture and grew crops during the rainy season, using a petrol pump for irrigation in the dry season. However, prolonged dry periods meant that it became too expensive to cultivate crops. “We have been running this garden for 30 years and have put a lot of hard work into it. We always stored rainwater to irrigate the fields, but without a permanent supply, the water isn’t enough to sustain us,” explains Amina.

 

As a result, her cooperative depends on irrigation canals from nearby rice farmers, often leading to tension. Sharing a single water source can indeed cause conflicts – an aspect that often remains invisible.

Natural resources ensure
people's well-being

Sustainable natural resource management is increasingly important, considering that by 2030, global demand for water, food and energy will increase by 30%, 40% and 50% respectively. These three resources are closely interlinked.

 

Not only do the women in Amina’s cooperative need more freshwater; because agriculture is their primary livelihood, they are also dependent on energy to grow enough food: “Our seedlings often did not germinate in the dry season. And those that did died without pumped water, destroying our hopes for a good harvest.”

 

Access to natural resources and a climate-resilient ecosystem is therefore crucial for the women’s well-being. Although this presents a risk of conflict, the fact that water, energy and food security are interlinked also opens up opportunities for synergies.

The Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Together with national and regional partners, German development cooperation together with the European Union (EU) promotes the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus approach in the Niger basin to address these interdependencies and ensure the sustainable management of water, energy and food resources.

 

The WEF Nexus approach focuses on negotiating trade-offs, inspiring compromises and uncovering synergies to ensure water, energy and food security in the long run. It further promotes policy coherence and cooperation between all three sectors at the regional, local and global level.

 

The approach has proven successful for the women’s cooperative in Kollo, where it was implemented as part of a demonstration project.

Solar-pumped irrigation

Rather than abandoning the land due to the difficult conditions and limited water resources, especially in the dry season, the women in Amina’s cooperative now cultivate their fields together and take joint investment decisions, which makes them more visible. “Our activities are flourishing. We call on all Nigerien women living in the river basin to join us,” says Amina.

 

To scale up agricultural output during the dry season, German development cooperation and the EU started working with the national coordination of users of the Niger River basin to provide Amina’s farming cooperative with a solar pumping irrigation system.

 

With solar energy, groundwater can now be pumped to irrigate the fields and crops year-round. Amina is delighted: “Today, all 40 women working with us are able to meet their daily needs.”

A step towards independence

The new irrigation system consists of solar-powered pumps and several retention basins to store the water. It reliably supplies water by avoiding the over-exploitation of groundwater resources.  The women have taken a major step towards food self-sufficiency, using renewable solar energy while increasing their climate resilience in the dry summer months.

 

German development cooperation and the EU also offered training on agricultural techniques, the sustainable management of water resources, and the maintenance and monitoring of the irrigation system to help the women gain ownership and independence: “We have all benefitted from training. Today, we are a source of pride in the eyes of the community. Before we were holding out for water, now we are giving it,” says Amina.

More information

By highlighting the interdependencies between water, energy and food security, the WEF Nexus approach contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and supports the EU’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

Through its cross-sectoral approach, WEF Nexus contributes to SDG 6 (“clean water and sanitation”), SDG 7 (“affordable and clean energy”), and SDG 2 (“zero hunger”).

 

Would you like to know more about the women’s cooperative, the WEF Nexus approach and what German development cooperation is doing to meet SDG 6?

 

Check out our websites and publications:

 

Home | Nexus - The Water, Energy & Food Security Resource Platform 

WEF Nexus demonstration project in San Pedro de Casta, Peru - Aquafondo 

NRD_factsheet_GENERAL_2021-11-29-053930_vsvg.pdf 

Water and Energy for Food 

The 17 Goals

In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was unanimously adopted by the member states of the United Nations. With the 2030 Agenda, the global community has set itself 17 goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) for socially, economically and ecologically sustainable development. The 17 goals apply universally and equally to all countries. They range from the eradication of global hunger to strengthening sustainable consumption and production to measures for climate protection.

SDG's

Alternative Development

Sustainable Development Goal 6 and related goals

sustainable development goal 01

Goal 01

Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. Its consequences are felt worldwide in our politically and economically closely interwoven world.

sustainable development goal 02

Goal 02

Eradicate hunger, achieve food security and better nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. With the special initiative "ONE WORLD - NO HUNGER", the German development cooperation is contributing to achieving this goal.

sustainable development goal 03

Goal 03

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This is one of the most important tasks.

sustainable development goal 04

Goal 04

Ensure inclusive, equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. - Because education is a human right.

sustainable development goal 05

Goal 05

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Gender equality is a fundamental factor for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 06

Goal 06

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. - This is a fundamental requirement for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 07

Goal 07

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Because without energy, development is not possible.

sustainable development goal 08

Goal 08

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment as well as decent work for all.

sustainable development goal 09

Goal 09

Build a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. After all, many rural regions in developing countries do not yet have adequate transport routes and means of transport.

sustainable development goal 10

Goal 10

Reduce inequality within and among countries. Reducing these inequalities contributes to sustainable economic growth and strengthens the social cohesion of a society.

sustainable development goal 11

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The BMZ supports a wide range of projects that sustainably improve the living conditions of the urban population.

sustainable development goal 12

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The change to a sustainable economy and lifestyle will only succeed if we change our consumption habits and production techniques.

sustainable development goal 13

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Germany is a pioneer in the field of energy system transformation and would like to further strengthen this role worldwide in the interests of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 14

Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. - An essential factor of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 15

Goal 15

Protect restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

sustainable development goal 16

Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

sustainable development goal 17

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. Only with such a global partnership the goals of Agenda 2030 can be achieved.

sustainable development goal 01
sustainable development goal 02
sustainable development goal 03
sustainable development goal 04
sustainable development goal 05
sustainable development goal 06
sustainable development goal 07
sustainable development goal 08
sustainable development goal 09
sustainable development goal 10
sustainable development goal 11
sustainable development goal 12
sustainable development goal 13
sustainable development goal 14
sustainable development goal 15
sustainable development goal 16
sustainable development goal 17
Breaking the Taboo of
Menstrual Hygiene

The Heroes Behind Urban Sanitation

Lusaka, Zambia

Samson, sanitation worker in Zambia

Samson is a sanitation worker in Lusaka, Zambia's capital. He is a pit emptier for the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company, which provides an essential public service: cleaning and emptying pit latrines, septic tanks, sewers and other sanitation systems, transporting fecal sludge, removing contaminants and processing it for disposal or reuse.

 

“My hope for the future is that everyone in Zambia will have access to clean and safe sanitation,” says Samson. Many toilets are not connected to a sewage system – a problem that has long been invisible, meaning that people who operate and maintain them are also unrecognized.

 

Due to a lack of public awareness, sanitation work as choice of occupation and the valuable service sanitation workers provide are often subjected to ridicule and stigmatized.

What do you think?

How many people worldwide do not have access to a toilet?

36 %

of all respondents were also right.

Nearly half of the world’s population does not have adequate access to sanitation – a total of 3.6 billion people

In addition, 80% of wastewater enters the environment untreated. In other words, one in three rivers in Latin America, Africa and Asia is contaminated. Two billion people use drinking water contaminated with feces, and 1.5 million children die annually from diarrheal diseases.

  • 21%Answer 02
  • 43%Answer 03
21 %

of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, nearly half of the world’s population does not have adequate access to sanitation – a total of 3.6 billion people

In addition, 80% of wastewater enters the environment untreated. In other words, one in three rivers in Latin America, Africa and Asia is contaminated. Two billion people use drinking water contaminated with feces, and 1.5 million children die annually from diarrheal diseases.

  • 36%Answer 01
  • 43%Answer 03
43 %

of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, nearly half of the world’s population does not have adequate access to sanitation – a total of 3.6 billion people

In addition, 80% of wastewater enters the environment untreated. In other words, one in three rivers in Latin America, Africa and Asia is contaminated. Two billion people use drinking water contaminated with feces, and 1.5 million children die annually from diarrheal diseases.

  • 36%Answer 01
  • 21%Answer 02

Precarious conditions

Rapid urbanization is not always associated with the necessary urban planning – and Lusaka is no exception. Only 30% of the urban area is connected to the sewage network. The rest relies on on-site sanitation, like septic tanks, soakaways or pit latrines.

 

Many households build facilities without adhering to standards. As most peri-urban areas are located above aquifers, sanitation facilities that have not been constructed safely can leak directly into this layer and contaminate the groundwater.

 

Sanitation workers toil in precarious conditions. “Full toilets can cause diseases, such as cholera and typhoid,” says Samson. As he is constantly exposed to fecal microorganisms, hazardous waste and harsh chemicals, he is susceptible to various health risks. But there are solutions to the problem.

Sanitation heroes

In many urban and peri-urban areas, connecting all households to the central sewage system is challenging and not always practicable. An end-to-end fecal sludge management (FSM) system is a feasible alternative.

 

German development cooperation takes a holistic view of sustainable sanitation taking into account the entire system, including toilet use, the collection, transportation, treatment, reuse and safe disposal of wastewater and fecal sludge.

 

Workers on the ground, like Samson, play an essential role in the successful delivery of sanitation services and are the true “sanitation heroes” of the FSM system, especially in the case of decentralized systems. If they did not exist, the whole system would collapse.

Creating jobs, developing skills

The aim of German development cooperation is to work with its Zambian partners to create jobs, develop skills, and strengthen the sanitation sector economically to ensure safe management of wastewater, sewage and fecal sludge.

 

Together with vocational schools and the public vocational training authority, certified courses are offered in water and sanitation management with the aim of recognizing and formalizing this invisible and informally organized occupation.

 

Samson is one of 100 sanitation workers who have successfully completed a course on decentralized drainage technologies. We discussed occupational health and safety for on-site sanitation. Thanks to this, I am now a trainer myself and educate sanitation workers in other provinces”.

Sustainable Sanitation Alliance

To promote the recognition of sanitation workers and enhance collaboration and peer-to-peer exchange, German development cooperation co-founded the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) in 2008. This international network and knowledge-sharing platform for sanitation experts currently has more than 14,000 members and 380 partner organisations globally.

 

“I was introduced to their web-based platform during my training and found a lot of useful material for sanitation workers,” says Samson. The platform aims to give the occupation greater recognition internationally. As a result, Samson and his peers can gain skills and knowledge as well as social acceptance and a formalized status.

Fecal sludge treatment plant

Sustainable sanitation systems contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agenda to adapt to the impacts of climate change. They improve a city's climate resilience by reusing water, energy, and nutrients.

 

The Chazanga fecal sludge treatment plant was designed for exactly this purpose. It was built for 30,000 households and turns part of the fecal sludge into valuable fertilizer that can be used for production. This paves the way for a circular economy as part of climate-smart urban development.

 

German development cooperation brings together the operators of these facilities and sanitation workers to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and mutual learning.

More information

In terms of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), improving conditions for sanitation workers not only contributes toward SDG 6 (“clean water and sanitation”), but also to three other SDGs: to SDG 1 (“no poverty”) by promoting access to basic services for the poor; to SDG 3 (“good health and well-being”) by improving occupational safety; and to SDG 8 (“decent work and economic growth”) by focusing on decent work.

 

You want to know more about sanitation workers, the SuSanA network, or the activities of German development cooperation to meet SDG 6?

 

Check out our websites and publications:
 
The Heroes behind Sanitation - Resources • SuSanA
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (susana.org)
Sanitärversorgung | BMZ

The 17 Goals

In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was unanimously adopted by the member states of the United Nations. With the 2030 Agenda, the global community has set itself 17 goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) for socially, economically and ecologically sustainable development. The 17 goals apply universally and equally to all countries. They range from the eradication of global hunger to strengthening sustainable consumption and production to measures for climate protection.

SDG's

Alternative Development

Sustainable Development Goal 6 and related goals

sustainable development goal 01

Goal 01

Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. Its consequences are felt worldwide in our politically and economically closely interwoven world.

sustainable development goal 02

Goal 02

Eradicate hunger, achieve food security and better nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. With the special initiative "ONE WORLD - NO HUNGER", the German development cooperation is contributing to achieving this goal.

sustainable development goal 03

Goal 03

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This is one of the most important tasks.

sustainable development goal 04

Goal 04

Ensure inclusive, equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. - Because education is a human right.

sustainable development goal 05

Goal 05

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Gender equality is a fundamental factor for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 06

Goal 06

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. - This is a fundamental requirement for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 07

Goal 07

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Because without energy, development is not possible.

sustainable development goal 08

Goal 08

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment as well as decent work for all.

sustainable development goal 09

Goal 09

Build a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. After all, many rural regions in developing countries do not yet have adequate transport routes and means of transport.

sustainable development goal 10

Goal 10

Reduce inequality within and among countries. Reducing these inequalities contributes to sustainable economic growth and strengthens the social cohesion of a society.

sustainable development goal 11

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The BMZ supports a wide range of projects that sustainably improve the living conditions of the urban population.

sustainable development goal 12

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The change to a sustainable economy and lifestyle will only succeed if we change our consumption habits and production techniques.

sustainable development goal 13

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Germany is a pioneer in the field of energy system transformation and would like to further strengthen this role worldwide in the interests of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 14

Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. - An essential factor of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 15

Goal 15

Protect restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

sustainable development goal 16

Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

sustainable development goal 17

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. Only with such a global partnership the goals of Agenda 2030 can be achieved.

sustainable development goal 01
sustainable development goal 02
sustainable development goal 03
sustainable development goal 04
sustainable development goal 05
sustainable development goal 06
sustainable development goal 07
sustainable development goal 08
sustainable development goal 09
sustainable development goal 10
sustainable development goal 11
sustainable development goal 12
sustainable development goal 13
sustainable development goal 14
sustainable development goal 15
sustainable development goal 16
sustainable development goal 17
Partnering Against Water Pollution

Breaking the Taboo of
Menstrual Hygiene

Quetta, Pakistan

Rehana, schoolgirl in Pakistan

Rehana is 15 years old and attends 9th grade at the Government Girls High School in Quetta, Pakistan. Every child has the right to a good education, including access to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services at school. “WASH services provide a healthy living environment for everyone,” explains Rehana. They improve the learning environment, people's health and dignity.

 

If safe WASH services are limited or do not exist, Rehana and her fellow students face challenges in their everyday life at school. For girls in puberty, appropriate sanitary facilities are especially important.

 

In many regions in Pakistan, menstruation remains a taboo and therefore is not addressed. As a consequence, many girls – including Rehana – skip school during their period.

What do you think?

How many schools worldwide lack basic sanitation services?

17 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, in 2019, nearly 698 million children worldwide (37% of schools) lacked basic sanitation services at their school. Almost 367 million (19%) had no sanitation services at all, according to WHO/UNICEF. Nearly half of all children worldwide do not have access to proper handwashing facilities and thus adequate hygiene services at their school.

  • 33%Answer 02
  • 50%Answer 03
33 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, in 2019, nearly 698 million children worldwide (37% of schools) lacked basic sanitation services at their school. Almost 367 million (19%) had no sanitation services at all, according to WHO/UNICEF. Nearly half of all children worldwide do not have access to proper handwashing facilities and thus adequate hygiene services at their school.

  • 17%Answer 01
  • 50%Answer 03
50 %

... of all respondents were also right.

In 2019, nearly 698 million children worldwide (37% of schools) lacked basic sanitation services at their school. Almost 367 million (19%) had no sanitation services at all, according to WHO/UNICEF. Nearly half of all children worldwide do not have access to proper handwashing facilities and thus adequate hygiene services at their school.

  • 17%Answer 01
  • 33%Answer 02

Lack of sanitary facilities

The situation in the WASH sector in Pakistan is precarious. Only slightly over half of the population has access to basic sanitation services, which is far from meeting the United Nations’ goal of providing “universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene” by 2030. The situation in Pakistani schools is no different. Almost a third do not have even basic sanitation.

 

The circumstances are worst in the provinces of Balochistan, where Rehana lives, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The provision and maintenance of basic sanitary facilities in public institutions is an enormous challenge. Around 43% of schools in the region do not have access to safe drinking water and 73% lack any sanitary facilities. Problems in connection with the absence of safe WASH services in schools often remain invisible.

Menstruation stigma

Over 1.8 billion women and girls worldwide menstruate. The stigma of impurity due to menstruation remains rooted in many societies around the globe. For millions of girls and women, the lack of adequate sanitary facilities and safe menstrual products prevents them from managing their menstrual cycle safely and in dignity.

 

This has profound implications not only for their health and well-being, but also for their participation in education, economic activities, and social life. As Rehana recalls, “Girls used to be absent from school during their period.”

Managing menstrual health and hygiene is a cross-sectoral issue that holds the potential to improve the lives of girls like Rehana in many areas, which leads to better social and economic development.

Menstrual health and hygiene

In Pakistan, access to menstrual products and information on menstrual health and hygiene are still severely restricted for many women and girls. Deeply entrenched traditional norms and social beliefs continue to curtail girls’ education and deny women an equal place in society.

 

Together with local partners, German development cooperation is committed to promoting and facilitating safe menstrual health and hygiene management in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the poorest provinces of Pakistan, by breaking down socio-cultural barriers and extending inclusive access to safe menstrual hygiene management. This initiative has also reached Rehana’s school.

Female-friendly toilets

Between 2017 and 2022, German development cooperation was responsible for constructing and renovating sanitary facilities in 43 public schools and 29 health care facilities, benefiting more than 550,000 people.

 

Measures included female-friendly toilets to ensure that girls and female teachers can change their sanitary products and wash in privacy. Schools now provide an emergency “menstrual hygiene management” (MHM) kit with all items a menstruating person might need.

 

The new facilities safeguard against girls missing classes or dropping out of education. “After raising awareness about MHM at our school, the number of girls missing classes when menstruating dropped drastically,” says Rehana.

Teachers raise awareness

Reliable information is just as important as the provision of adequate sanitary facilities. Schools can act as safe spaces for disseminating information on MHM.

 

German development cooperation supported the training of more than 250 teachers, health care workers, and civil servants, who now raise awareness about this taboo. Rehana already notices the benefits: “The training we received on health, hygiene and MHM makes a big difference.”

 

Before that, nobody talked about it but now she can speak to her teachers and feels safe and understood. Rehana feels empowered to take MHM further: “We make sanitary pads ourselves at home and hand them out to women and girls in the community. We also talk to our friends and other families about MHM.”

WASH clubs break taboos

Rehana’s school also set up a WASH club – a concept by the Pakistani government to get pupils involved in maintaining the sanitary facilities and raise awareness of personal hygiene and menstrual health.

 

Together with UNICEF Pakistan, German development cooperation advocates including menstrual hygiene management in the school curriculum for both girls and boys. If pupils grow up knowing the facts and being aware of each other’s needs, this is more likely to further societal acceptance and help tackle the persistent stigma of menstruation.

 

Rehana is happy that she is now able to share her knowledge with friends and family: “In the future, I would like to teach even more people about safe MHM. I want this topic to be treated as something normal.”

More information

Improving MHM is connected to several of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), beyond safe access to water and sanitation (SDG 6). It contributes to SDG 1 by promoting access for the poor (“no poverty”), SDG 3 by improving menstrual health (“good health and well-being”), SDG 4 by providing education on MHM at school (“quality education”), SDG 5 by addressing women and girls (“gender equality”), SDG 8 by providing sanitation facilities at workplaces (“decent work and economic growth”), and SDG 12 by using biodegradable sanitary napkins (“responsible consumption and production”).

 

You want to know more about menstrual health and MHM, the Sanitation for Millions project, or the efforts of German development cooperation to achieve SDG 6?

 

Check out our websites and publications: 

 

WASH – Healthy Developments
Sanitation for Millions Project Page  
Sanitation for Millions Factsheet Pakistan
Sanitation for Millions Study on Menstrual Health and Menstrual Hygiene Management
Sanitation for Millions Pakistan: Menstrual Hygiene Management Documentary

The 17 Goals

In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was unanimously adopted by the member states of the United Nations. With the 2030 Agenda, the global community has set itself 17 goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) for socially, economically and ecologically sustainable development. The 17 goals apply universally and equally to all countries. They range from the eradication of global hunger to strengthening sustainable consumption and production to measures for climate protection.

SDG's

Alternative Development

Sustainable Development Goal 6 and related goals

sustainable development goal 01

Goal 01

Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. Its consequences are felt worldwide in our politically and economically closely interwoven world.

sustainable development goal 02

Goal 02

Eradicate hunger, achieve food security and better nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. With the special initiative "ONE WORLD - NO HUNGER", the German development cooperation is contributing to achieving this goal.

sustainable development goal 03

Goal 03

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This is one of the most important tasks.

sustainable development goal 04

Goal 04

Ensure inclusive, equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. - Because education is a human right.

sustainable development goal 05

Goal 05

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Gender equality is a fundamental factor for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 06

Goal 06

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. - This is a fundamental requirement for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 07

Goal 07

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Because without energy, development is not possible.

sustainable development goal 08

Goal 08

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment as well as decent work for all.

sustainable development goal 09

Goal 09

Build a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. After all, many rural regions in developing countries do not yet have adequate transport routes and means of transport.

sustainable development goal 10

Goal 10

Reduce inequality within and among countries. Reducing these inequalities contributes to sustainable economic growth and strengthens the social cohesion of a society.

sustainable development goal 11

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The BMZ supports a wide range of projects that sustainably improve the living conditions of the urban population.

sustainable development goal 12

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The change to a sustainable economy and lifestyle will only succeed if we change our consumption habits and production techniques.

sustainable development goal 13

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Germany is a pioneer in the field of energy system transformation and would like to further strengthen this role worldwide in the interests of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 14

Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. - An essential factor of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 15

Goal 15

Protect restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

sustainable development goal 16

Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

sustainable development goal 17

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. Only with such a global partnership the goals of Agenda 2030 can be achieved.

sustainable development goal 01
sustainable development goal 02
sustainable development goal 03
sustainable development goal 04
sustainable development goal 05
sustainable development goal 06
sustainable development goal 07
sustainable development goal 08
sustainable development goal 09
sustainable development goal 10
sustainable development goal 11
sustainable development goal 12
sustainable development goal 13
sustainable development goal 14
sustainable development goal 15
sustainable development goal 16
sustainable development goal 17
Religious Leaders
for Water Conservation

Partnering Against Water Pollution

Kampala, Uganda

Godfrey, fisherman in Uganda

Godfrey works as a fisherman on the shores of Lake Victoria outside Kampala, Uganda. His livelihood depends on catching sardines, which he sells in Kampala and to customers outside Uganda.

 

With a rapidly growing population and an inadequate waste management infrastructure in Kampala, plastic waste pollution in the city’s water bodies has become a challenge for fishermen like Godfrey.

 

The consequences of plastic waste ending up in lakes, rivers, and wetlands are not always visible, but serious. As Godfrey explains, “Fish lay their eggs in shallow waters along the shoreline. However, this is where many plastic bottles end up, making it impossible for fish to reproduce in these areas.” Reduced fish stocks threaten Godfrey’s livelihood as a fisherman.

What do you think?

What share of plastic waste produced in Kampala is collected?

15 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, only 57% of the plastic waste created in Kampala is collected and delivered to waste stations. About 43% remains uncollected and is dumped in unauthorized sites, burnt on roadsides or in clearings, or washed into storm water channels that flow into the surrounding wetlands and Lake Victoria.

  • 45%Answer 02
  • 40%Answer 03
45 %

... of all respondents were also right.

Only 57% of the plastic waste produced in Kampala is collected and delivered to waste stations. About 43% remains uncollected and is dumped in unauthorized sites, burnt on roadsides or in clearings, or washed into storm water channels that flow into the surrounding wetlands and Lake Victoria.

  • 15%Answer 01
  • 40%Answer 03
40 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, only 57% of the plastic waste created in Kampala is collected and delivered to waste stations. About 43% remains uncollected and is dumped in unauthorized sites, burnt on roadsides or in clearings, or washed into storm water channels that flow into the surrounding wetlands and Lake Victoria.

  • 15%Answer 01
  • 45%Answer 02

Plastic waste degrades
water bodies

In Kampala, public waste collection and processing services have not grown in proportion to the population and urbanization of the area. The urban authorities are overwhelmed with collecting and disposing of the amount of solid waste generated.

 

This leaves most people with no other choice but to fall back on informal waste management practices, such as dumping and burning. Poor management of plastic waste degrades the city’s natural resources like land, wetlands, water, and air, as it often ends up in the city’s water system and rivers.

 

“Plastic waste blocks the drainage canals when it rains, which can be very dangerous,” says Godfrey. When clogged, the canals cannot provide rainwater run-off, which aggravates the risk of flooding and waterborne diseases in stagnant waters.

Recycling plastic waste

Dan works for EcoBrixs, whose mission is to tackle Kampala’s plastic waste problem. The local start-up sets up recycling centers in areas suffering from plastic pollution. As Dan explains, “We are not only helping to reduce the plastic that ends up in the environment, but also create employment opportunities and sellable eco-products for the communities.”

 

EcoBrixs encouraged Godfrey and his community to collect plastic waste along the lakeshore and bring it to collection points. Godfrey alone collects one ton of plastic per week. EcoBrixs pays him for each kilogram of plastic collected.

 

The waste is then transported to recycling stations and turned into sustainable eco-products. “What was once a wasted plastic bottle is turned into a chair, a door frame, or other useful things,” says Godfrey.

Multi-stakeholder partnership

EcoBrixs is part of the “Greater Kampala PET Plastic Recycling Partnership” founded in 2019 to encourage dialogue between private and public stakeholders and civil society. To meet this environmental challenge, everybody must take responsibility for shared natural resources. This approach is called stewardship.

 

Partners include the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment, the National Environment Management Authority, the Kampala Capital City Authority, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Mukwano Industries Uganda Ltd., the Water & Juice Manufacturers Association and the Global Green Growth Institute.

 

They work together to enhance the recycling value chain, raise awareness of plastic recycling and improve the necessary policy framework.

Mainstreaming and
upscaling solutions

Only by jointly addressing the risks of plastic pollution and developing solutions together, can initiatives like this be successful in the long-term. The multi-stakeholder partnership is supported by German and British development cooperation and the European Union.

 

Besides protecting Kampala’s natural resources by improving the sustainable management of PET plastic waste, it contributes to establishing an inclusive green recycling sector that creates jobs and economic opportunities.

 

It also provides a platform to mainstream and upscale the solutions developed by local start-ups like EcoBrixs. “We certainly benefit from the partnership. I really like this work because trash is cash – and as a social enterprise, we make sure that communities benefit from it”, says Dan with a grin.

Circular economy

Supported by German development cooperation, EcoBrixs follows a closed-loop circular economy approach. By improving the plastic waste value chain, valuable resources can be upcycled and reused, reducing the pressure on costly and polluting repositories.

 

As a result, less plastic waste ends up in the city’s water system, improving flood resilience, water quality and human health. All these activities contribute to a flourishing circular plastic waste economy, while simultaneously helping to clean and protect the city’s lakes, wetlands, and aquatic ecosystems.

 

As a result, Godfrey and his fellow fishermen benefit from recovered fish stocks in Lake Victoria.

Strengthening livelihoods

Collecting and recycling plastic waste in Kampala helps boost the local economy. Dan’s start-up has already set up 51 community recycling centers: “We have collected close to 500 tons of plastic, which equals 21 million plastic bottles.” In doing so, it has created more than 3,000 local income opportunities.

 

Godfrey also feels the benefits of the additional source of income: “I am thankful to those who buy plastics because it supplements my fishing income. With the cash I earn, I can buy clothes, feed my family and buy books for my children.”

 

As Kampala continues to grow, so will the amount of plastic waste. By continuing to invest in sustainable plastic value chains, this burden can be turned into an economic opportunity to improve livelihoods and tackle the city’s environmental problem.

More information

In terms of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), circular plastic waste management contributes not only to SDG 6 (“clean water and sanitation”), but also to SDG 8 by creating employment opportunities for the local population (“decent work and economic growth”), SDG 11 by contributing to urban flood resilience (“sustainable cities and communities”), SDG 12 by promoting sustainable, circular and “responsible consumption and production” patterns, SDG 15 by protecting and restoring water ecosystems to halt biodiversity loss  (“life on land”), and SDG 17 by building effective “partnerships for the goals”.

 

You want to know more about the partnership, nature stewardship or about German development cooperation efforts to achieve SDG 6?

 

Check out our websites and publications:

 

Cities and climate | BMZ
NatuReS
4-Uganda-PET-Plastic-Recycling-Partnership.pdf
Recycling | Eco Brixs | Uganda

The 17 Goals

In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was unanimously adopted by the member states of the United Nations. With the 2030 Agenda, the global community has set itself 17 goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) for socially, economically and ecologically sustainable development. The 17 goals apply universally and equally to all countries. They range from the eradication of global hunger to strengthening sustainable consumption and production to measures for climate protection.

SDG's

Alternative Development

Sustainable Development Goal 6 and related goals

sustainable development goal 01

Goal 01

Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. Its consequences are felt worldwide in our politically and economically closely interwoven world.

sustainable development goal 02

Goal 02

Eradicate hunger, achieve food security and better nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. With the special initiative "ONE WORLD - NO HUNGER", the German development cooperation is contributing to achieving this goal.

sustainable development goal 03

Goal 03

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This is one of the most important tasks.

sustainable development goal 04

Goal 04

Ensure inclusive, equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. - Because education is a human right.

sustainable development goal 05

Goal 05

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Gender equality is a fundamental factor for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 06

Goal 06

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. - This is a fundamental requirement for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 07

Goal 07

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Because without energy, development is not possible.

sustainable development goal 08

Goal 08

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment as well as decent work for all.

sustainable development goal 09

Goal 09

Build a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. After all, many rural regions in developing countries do not yet have adequate transport routes and means of transport.

sustainable development goal 10

Goal 10

Reduce inequality within and among countries. Reducing these inequalities contributes to sustainable economic growth and strengthens the social cohesion of a society.

sustainable development goal 11

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The BMZ supports a wide range of projects that sustainably improve the living conditions of the urban population.

sustainable development goal 12

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The change to a sustainable economy and lifestyle will only succeed if we change our consumption habits and production techniques.

sustainable development goal 13

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Germany is a pioneer in the field of energy system transformation and would like to further strengthen this role worldwide in the interests of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 14

Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. - An essential factor of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 15

Goal 15

Protect restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

sustainable development goal 16

Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

sustainable development goal 17

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. Only with such a global partnership the goals of Agenda 2030 can be achieved.

sustainable development goal 01
sustainable development goal 02
sustainable development goal 03
sustainable development goal 04
sustainable development goal 05
sustainable development goal 06
sustainable development goal 07
sustainable development goal 08
sustainable development goal 09
sustainable development goal 10
sustainable development goal 11
sustainable development goal 12
sustainable development goal 13
sustainable development goal 14
sustainable development goal 15
sustainable development goal 16
sustainable development goal 17
About us

Religious Leaders
for Water Conservation

Irbid, Jordan

Mohamad, imam and water ambassador in Jordan

Mohamad is an imam in a mosque in Irbid, northern Jordan. Jordan is one of the most water-deprived countries in the world. Groundwater in particular is a scarce resource – and a hidden problem. As Mohamad explains, “The water situation is a big challenge. Some citizens don’t have running water every day, but only once a week for a period of four hours. Water supply is a pressing concern and a psychological burden for many.”

 

Even though water is scarce, many lack awareness of how to use it sparingly. As a religious leader, Imam Mohamad has a crucial function in his community: “Our message as imams is reconciliation, orientation and preaching. And as an active member of my community, I work to resolve conflicts.” He has now taken on the challenge of tackling the country’s water crisis.

What do you think?

Where does Jordan rank globally in terms of water scarcity?

44 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, Jordan is unfortunately the second-most water-scarce country in the world. It has annual renewable water resources of 64 cubic meters per person (2018), significantly below the threshold of 500 cubic meters per person, which defines severe water scarcity. The availability of water resources will further decrease in future due to climate change.

  • 29%Answer 02
  • 27%Answer 03
29 %

... of all respondents were also right.

Jordan is unfortunately the second-most water-scarce country in the world. It has annual renewable water resources of 64 cubic meters per person (2018), significantly below the threshold of 500 cubic meters per person, which defines severe water scarcity. The availability of water resources will further decrease in future due to climate change.

  • 44%Answer 01
  • 27%Answer 03
27 %

... of all respondents also thought that.

In fact, Jordan is unfortunately the second-most water-scarce country in the world. It has annual renewable water resources of 64 cubic meters per person (2018), significantly below the threshold of 500 cubic meters per person, which defines severe water scarcity. The availability of water resources will further decrease in future due to climate change.

  • 44%Answer 01
  • 29%Answer 02

Limited water resources

Due to rapid population growth, agricultural irrigation and climate change, Jordan’s already limited resources have been overstretched. The country relies heavily on pumping groundwater for agriculture, industry, and drinking water.

 

Due to climate change and based on rainfall forecasts, Jordan’s water supply is expected to decline further in the future. On top of these challenges, people struggle to meet the high energy costs for pumping water as well as water losses. This leads to a 65% gap between supply and demand for municipal water. In other words, demand cannot be met.

 

German development cooperation works in partnership with Jordan’s government, water utilities, communities, and the private sector to address these challenges from all angles – and build capacity at all levels.

Water ambassador

As one of 2,500 religious leaders, Imam Mohamad trained in resource and water protection and is now a water ambassador.

 

The teaching materials were developed with the help of German development cooperation together with the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and the General Iftaa Department. “The training reinforced my sense of the importance of ‘water harvesting’ projects and that we need a cultural change concerning water. We now do things ourselves, such as collecting rainwater,” says Imam Mohamad.

 

In my function as imam, I now help to save water in various ways.” He sees it as his duty to use his position to educate and raise awareness about the water situation.

“Blue” mosques set an example

German development cooperation supported 344 mosques in Jordan by retrofitting them with water-saving systems. Imam Mohamad’s mosque and six others have even been designated “blue” mosques.

 

“We carry out water harvesting in our mosque by collecting clean rainwater from the roof and channeling it into a rainwater harvesting cistern. The mosque is also called “blue” because the taps of the sanitary facilities are equipped with water-saving devices,” says Imam Mohamad.

 

These measures show people ways to save water that they can put into practice in their own homes. Imam Mohamad elaborates: “I encourage the community to use water sparingly, ‘harvest’ water, and install water-saving taps in their homes as well.”

Training and educating
to raise awareness

Another aspect of Imam Mohamad’s function as water ambassador is education. He raises awareness by teaching his community how to use water economically and why this is important: “I call on those who pray to save water, protect it from pollution and use water resources responsibly. I also give instructions on how to save water during ritual ablutions.”

 

What’s more, he encourages the congregation in his mosque as well as the wider local community to implement programmes such as water and rainwater harvesting.

 

Besides training and educating religious leaders on water security, German development cooperation works on technical solutions on the ground to combat Jordan’s water crisis.

Monitoring groundwater
to improve quality

Jordan’s groundwater resources are steadily dwindling. As a result, more energy is required to pump groundwater, causing the related costs to rise.

 

The quality of groundwater is also decreasing. Moreover, the management and operation of wells is suboptimal in many cases, which leads to even higher energy costs. German development cooperation is working with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and water utilities to improve the management of domestic wells.

 

By regularly monitoring geoscientific data and carrying out routine analyses, the energy efficiency of wells can be improved. At the same time, a nationwide assessment of groundwater quality will provide a valuable tool for decision-makers to better manage the available groundwater resources in the future.

Water Master Plan

As groundwater and surface water levels decline, Jordan’s network of dams and well fields will not be able to supply the country with water forever. The Water Master Plan addresses this problem.

 

Developed by German development cooperation, the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation, and water institutions, it assesses the country’s future water supply. It shows that due to climate change and overuse, the availability and exploitability of groundwater and surface water will severely decline over the next 20 years, as demand increases.

 

Because many well fields will dry up, seawater desalination is a possible solution for future water problems. The Water Master Plan proposes significant changes to the water supply infrastructure to ensure that the necessary capital investments are made.

More information

In terms of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the measures taken in Jordan contribute not only to SDG 6 “clean water and sanitation”, but also to three other SDGs: to SDG 1 by promoting access to basic services for the poor (“no poverty”); to SDG 4 by providing education about water resources to the local population (“quality education”); and to SDG 15 by focusing on the protection of groundwater to reverse depletion and secure this precious resource for future generations (“life on land”).

 

You would like to know more about groundwater, the Islam and Water project or German development cooperation efforts to achieve SDG6?

 

Check out our websites and publications:

 

Jordan | BMZ

Religious leaders support water conservation

Sanitation for Millions - WASH in Islam - Resources • SuSanA

BGR - Projekte - Jordanien – Bewirtschaftung der Grundwasserressourcen (bund.de)

BGR - Groundwater (bund.de)

The 17 Goals

In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was unanimously adopted by the member states of the United Nations. With the 2030 Agenda, the global community has set itself 17 goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) for socially, economically and ecologically sustainable development. The 17 goals apply universally and equally to all countries. They range from the eradication of global hunger to strengthening sustainable consumption and production to measures for climate protection.

SDG's

Alternative Development

Sustainable Development Goal 6 and related goals

sustainable development goal 01

Goal 01

Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. Its consequences are felt worldwide in our politically and economically closely interwoven world.

sustainable development goal 02

Goal 02

Eradicate hunger, achieve food security and better nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. With the special initiative "ONE WORLD - NO HUNGER", the German development cooperation is contributing to achieving this goal.

sustainable development goal 03

Goal 03

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This is one of the most important tasks.

sustainable development goal 04

Goal 04

Ensure inclusive, equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. - Because education is a human right.

sustainable development goal 05

Goal 05

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Gender equality is a fundamental factor for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 06

Goal 06

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. - This is a fundamental requirement for sustainable development worldwide.

sustainable development goal 07

Goal 07

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Because without energy, development is not possible.

sustainable development goal 08

Goal 08

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment as well as decent work for all.

sustainable development goal 09

Goal 09

Build a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. After all, many rural regions in developing countries do not yet have adequate transport routes and means of transport.

sustainable development goal 10

Goal 10

Reduce inequality within and among countries. Reducing these inequalities contributes to sustainable economic growth and strengthens the social cohesion of a society.

sustainable development goal 11

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The BMZ supports a wide range of projects that sustainably improve the living conditions of the urban population.

sustainable development goal 12

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The change to a sustainable economy and lifestyle will only succeed if we change our consumption habits and production techniques.

sustainable development goal 13

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Germany is a pioneer in the field of energy system transformation and would like to further strengthen this role worldwide in the interests of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 14

Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. - An essential factor of sustainable development.

sustainable development goal 15

Goal 15

Protect restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

sustainable development goal 16

Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

sustainable development goal 17

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. Only with such a global partnership the goals of Agenda 2030 can be achieved.

sustainable development goal 01
sustainable development goal 02
sustainable development goal 03
sustainable development goal 04
sustainable development goal 05
sustainable development goal 06
sustainable development goal 07
sustainable development goal 08
sustainable development goal 09
sustainable development goal 10
sustainable development goal 11
sustainable development goal 12
sustainable development goal 13
sustainable development goal 14
sustainable development goal 15
sustainable development goal 16
sustainable development goal 17

About us

This exhibition is a production by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

 

Responsible: BMZ, Division 103

 

Editorial team: Sector Programme Water Policy - Innovation for Resilience (GIZ)

 

Editorial collaboration: We thank all partners and projects for their valuable input and great support: PROCUENCA Bolivia, Reform of the water sector in Zambia II, Sanitation for Millions Pakistan, Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuRes) Uganda, ExoBrixs Uganda, BORDA e.V., Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme Niger, Improvement of communal water efficiency through cooperation with religious authorities Jordan, Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) Jordan

 

Content Design: DITHO Design GmbH, supported by ich.tv