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Infrastructure and Connectivity

Rural Water Supply and Sanitation

Our Goal

The Development Objective of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project was in two parts i) To improve the health of rural communities in Afghanistan by increasing awareness through integration of health and hygiene education with the provision of safe and sustainable water supply and sanitation services and ii) Strengthen and build the capacity of government (central and provincial) for sector development and that of NGOs, the private sector and the communities to scale up provision of sustainable water supply and sanitation facilities.

How We Deliver


The original project had three major components: Strengthening the capacity of national and local government for service delivery; providing safe water and sanitation facilities to the unserved population of Afghanistan; and implementing sectoral studies.

1) Strengthening and capacity building of government agencies, NGOs, private sector, and the communities: This component included technical assistance (TA), the establishment and financing of the recurrent costs (on a declining scale) of the project implementation unit (PIU), monitoring and evaluation (M&E), Management Information System (MIS) and training to enhance the capacity of:  (a) MRRD to develop national rural water supply and sanitation sector plans; implement sector policies and strategies; monitor and evaluate the sector; carry out more effective sector coordination and facilitate sector development; and streamline effective and efficient approaches to service delivery; (b) NGOs to assist communities to create awareness regarding health, hygiene, and sanitation education; community mobilization; (c) private sector to assist the communities to construct rural water supply and sanitation facilities; and (d) communities to take charge of their water supply and sanitation facilities and assume full O&M responsibility.

2) Selection and construction of water points and construction of sanitary latrines including the provision of community-level health and hygiene education: The component included (a) the software aspects of the project which comprise social mobilization, capacity building, awareness-creation, training, and supervision of construction activities; (b) the hardware aspects, which consist of construction of approximately 950 water points with hand pumps, approximately 15 gravity flow piped schemes with stand posts; protection and rehabilitation of springs and existing water points, and construction of 3 demonstration latrines per water point constructed; creation of demand for, and construction of, sanitary latrines in each of the participating households as well as development of an O&M plan; and (c) community-based O&M system based on existing good practices in Afghanistan.

3) Studies: This component comprised funding various studies that would help identify appropriate approaches to deliver safe drinking water and sanitary latrines; develop a strategy for carrying out an effective national campaign for health and hygiene education as well as develop measures to regularly monitor water quality. The studies would include: (a) Assessment of design parameters for service delivery to small rural towns; (b) Assessment of service delivery options for Kuchis (nomads) by consultants with long experience in working with Afghan nomads, preferably pre-war, to ensure sufficient insight into nomad lifestyle; (c) Study to determine a strategy for a national health, hygiene, and sanitation campaign, including the most effective means of developing coordination among different government line ministries and other stakeholders, including piloting the strategy; (d) Study, cognizant of regional experiences, to develop feasible sanitation strategy/ approaches appropriate to Afghanistan to expeditiously expand coverage, including a pilot program; (e) Water quality monitoring; and (f) Surveys and studies leading to appropriate technology and sector development.


  • 34% Percent increase in number of households with improved access to water points;
  • 98% Percent increase in number of households with improved access to hygienic sanitation facilities;
  • 59, 384 Households reached with household women as targets for Hygiene Education linking water and diarrhea;
  • 55% increase in hand washing with soap at critical junctures; 297 CDCs and 13 water user groups formed/ involved in project planning and implementation;
  • MRRD's capacity to manage contracts improved significantly from Original Grant Project to Additional Grant project;
  • 35 Works contracts in Additional Grant Project were completed in 16 months compared to 43 contracts in Original Grant Project in 33 months;
  • 1,180 Water Points, 10 piped schemes and 4,017 Latrines completed.