Water Diplomacy

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme in the Huambo Province of Angola

20/04/2015 - 00:00
News stories

Angola is a vast country where service delivery does not reach all of its citizens, despite the improvements achieved since the end of the war in 2002. Access to water and sanitation is a key element in improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable population groups and is therefore a decisive component of EU development cooperation with Angola.

Approvisionnement en eau © Flickr/s Martin

In remote rural areas, the infant and under-five mortality rates are among the highest in the world, with many of these deaths related to diarrhoea and contaminated water.  With improved access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation and increased hygiene awareness, many of these deaths would be preventable. Only 42% of the population has access to a safe potable water source and only 4 out of 10 people have access to bathrooms or latrines.

In response to these challenges, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme in the Central Highlands of Angola was designed to provide sustainable access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation and key hygiene practices for 100,000 Angolans living in rural areas of the province of Huambo, in central southern Angola. Over the implementation period, the project has effectively contributed towards a significant reduction in child mortality and water related diseases.

The project makes good use of Huambo Province's immense hydrological potential and the high water table, by utilising a low cost technology designed to be used and maintained by the communities themselves. With a low cost and simplicity of assembly / maintenance,  the technology deployed – drilling water wells, latrines made of local materials - is an interesting option for the government to extend public services to more isolated communities and empower the communities themselves to take care of the facilities.

Much of the project is geared towards training and capacity building at the municipality level for a fundamental reason: to guarantee the sustainability and ownership of the outcome of the project.