of the greatest challenges in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 300 million
people live in a water-scarce environment1, is the ability to access
a clean water supply. Ensuring safe and sufficient water, coupled with basic
sanitation facilities and improved hygiene practices, can have a significant
impact on global health.
Water, the benefits of having access to a safe drinking water source can
only be fully realised when there is also access to improved sanitation and
good hygiene practices (known collectively as WASH).
this reason, to ensure the availability and sustainable management of WASH for
all, one of the aims of Sustainable
Development Goal (SDG) 6 is to substantially increase water-use efficiency
and secure a sustainable supply of freshwater.
pays special attention to women and girls, who often have to walk long
distances to collect water from outdoor sources. By fetching water from sources
closer to home, girls would be less at risk of attack and spend more time at
From the ground up
people in sub-Saharan Africa rely on surface water, which is either scarce,
contaminated, or both. Groundwater is a source of safe water for drinking,
hygiene and irrigation that remains largely untapped, whether it is due to poor
management, high costs or simply poor understanding3.
surveys concluded that there is more water under Africa’s surface than on it4. Therefore groundwater can
be developed as a new and sustainable resource, as long as it is managed
has developed a series of Groundwater
Programming Principles, which ensure how to best site and develop a new
water point. The strategy has proved successful in Chad, where Small and Medium
Enterprises (SMEs) manually drill boreholes to increase the coverage of
improved drinking water supply in the country5.
looking into the potential of groundwater development in Africa is GroFutures.
Part of the international research programme UPGro
(Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor), the project aims to
understand how groundwater resources can be used sustainably to meet future
Hygiene through clean
to clean water, improved sanitation and good hygiene practices go hand in hand,
but education and awareness are key to provide universal WASH access. By
raising awareness of the importance of hygienic behaviour, in particular
hand-washing with soap, the incidence of water-borne diseases and other
illnesses would reduce significantly6.
Effect Africa look to improve sanitary conditions in schools by providing
proper sanitary infrastructure, such as toilets and hand-washing facilities,
and sanitary consumables, such as soap and toilet paper. They also facilitate
the introduction of health education to both students and teachers to raise
awareness about good hygiene habits.
benefit from basic hygiene and sanitation education at school, but they also
play an important role in driving change. Encouraging children to demonstrate
good hygiene in their homes and communities helps them lead the way for
positive behavioural change7.
meet SDG6 and provide adequate WASH for all, TRANSFORM funds and delivers
technical expertise and capacity-building to social business models, behaviour
change, social impact and last-mile distribution to meet the needs of
underserved households in sub-Saharan Africa. TRANSFORM is particularly
interested in digital solutions for mass behaviour change, seeking to unlock
the potential of mobile phones to deliver positive impact at scale.