Sustainability of WASH services


The 33rd AGUASAN Workshop on the topic “Circular economy – transforming waste into resources” took place in Spiez, Switzerland from June 26 to 30, 2017. The main focus was analyzing successful and failed approaches for transitioning from linear to circular water and sanitation models.

Circular economy has great potential to drive the Water and Sanitation 2030 Agenda forward because it aligns directly with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.3 of improving water quality and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally and SDG 6.4 of substantially increasing water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensuring sustainable withdrawals.



Fig. 1: Graph Circular Economy


The Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium was present with five representatives from four different organizations: Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Swiss Red Cross, Caritas Switzerland and Terre des hommes. The following contributions were made:

  • The Swiss Red Cross presented a poster on menstrual hygiene management in Nepal (poster will follow)
  • Caritas Switzerland presented a poster on Blue Schools in Bangladesh: a promising way to teach reduce, reuse and recycle: Poster_Blue_Schools_Aguasan_Workshop_Caritas_Bangladesh_2017
  • Terre des hommes and Caritas jointly facilitated a clinical case on Blue School 2.0. During several group working sessions, a solution was developed on how to transition from a linear Blue School to a circular Blue School and how to teach circular economy through a learning-by-doing approach in school.  The results of the discussions were presented as flip charts/ diagrams, as shown below:Circular Flows Blue SchoolsFig 2. Circular Flows in a Blue School

Circular Business Model Blue SchoolsFig 3. Circular business model for Blue Schools

Success Criteria Blue SchoolsFig 4. Success criteria for Blue Schools


Opening of the Water Team Days in Bern


The SDC Water Team Days 2017 took place in Bern on 22-23 June 2017.  The SDC Water Team Days are one of the most important face to face meetings in the water domain in Switzerland. About 65 practitioners from the SDC, partners and guests are coming together to share, discuss and learn about recent developments in water and development cooperation. A special focus of this year's event were the SDGs and SDG monitoring. The Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium was present at the Water Team Days 2017 and contributed two Market Place sessions to the following topics:

    • Strengthening the Environmental Component of Blue Schools 2.0: Consortium partners Terre des hommes, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Caritas Switzerland presented and discussed the concept for Blue Schools 2.0. This is of particular interest as the Blue School concept is fully in-line with SDG 6, complementing usual WASH in school activities with a school  garden as practical place to show relationships between food production, an efficient management of water and a demonstrative place for watershed and land management practices. During the last years, the Blue School concept has been piloted and tested in various countries by different Consortium partners. Based on their experiences, the Consortium is currently developing the Blue School 2.0 with a special focus on strengthening the environmental component of Blue Schools. The ongoing work on developing Blue Schools 2.0 was shared and discussed with the participants.
    • Integrity Management Toolbox for small water supply systems: The Water Integrity Network (WIN) and Caritas Switzerland presented how the Integrity management Toolbox for Small Water Supply Systems has assisted pilot communities and local governments in Kenya in addressing governance and management challenges of community managed rural water supply. Lessons learnt were shared and ideas on how the toolbox can be used in other countries were discussed.









SE Africa workshop 2016The Regional Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa was held from 31 October to 4 November 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and brought together 25 participants from 7 organisations from Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Sudan. The overall goal of the workshop was to foster knowledge sharing, present good practices and lessons learnt and strengthen cooperation between participants and project teams.

The first day was dedicated to sharing of good practices addressing project teams, country representatives and programme coordinators. The following days were dedicated to deepening two technical topics: 1) increasing the sustainability of school interventions, and 2) sustainability of water systems. The discussion between the different project teams made clear that they all face similar problems regarding operation and management (O&M) and sustainability of WASH infrastructure. Jointly, the teams reached the conclusion that involving a private operator in the O&M of WASH infrastructure, together with generating demand for either improved sanitation or safe water services can improve sustainability considerably.

The field trip provided an interesting insight into one project site of HEKS in Modjo, where bone char is used for defluoridation, which is very important in the Riff Valley, where naturally high fluoride levels pose significant health risks.

On the last day an external expert delivered an input on how videos can be used to capture the voice of beneficiaries (participative video). This input was greatly appreciated by participants who have shown interest to use this approach for evaluation or to capture good practices. Overall, the workshop was very successful and the goals were met with a mix of interactive activities and presentations by the facilitators and participants, which resulted in active participation and lively discussions.