The European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Action Group, led by Aqua for All, has launched two publications to promote investments in WASH: the “Handbook on WASH for Impact Investors” and its summary “A Brief Introduction to WASH for Impact Investors“.
The publications are the first outputs of the WASH Working Group that was established last year. They were produced in collaboration with consultant Sachin Kumar.
The “Handbook on WASH for Impact Investors” is published in two parts. Part I focuses on raising awareness about the sector and how it relates to the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It discusses the main WASH concepts, the safe drinking water and sanitation value chains, and the business models of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) active in the sector.
Part II elaborates on the WASH economy. It specifically covers the existing funding gap and debunks myths on investing in WASH. It also identifies common challenges and provides solutions to overcome them.
Private investments in WASH are urgently needed
At the current rates of progress, the world will not achieve SDG 6 – clean water and sanitation for all – by 2030. The water and sanitation sector is primarily financed by public and donor funds. But these funds only represent 4.4% (USD 5 billion) of the total amount (USD 114 billion) required annually.
Private investments are therefore critical to increase access to water and sanitation services. However, private investors find it difficult to finance or grow their WASH portfolios due to little knowledge and information gaps on investing in WASH.
Mobilising the impact investing community
To catalyse investments in WASH, Aqua for All partners with local financial institutions and impact investors. It also participates in events and develops initiatives aimed at increasing knowledge of the WASH sector among the impact investing community.
In 2020, Aqua for All partnered with e-MFP to promote impact investments in WASH. Aqua for All contributed with funds and organised several workshops during the European Microfinance Week in 2020 and 2021.
In 2021, the WASH Action Group was established. Aqua for All remained closely involved by leading the action group and contributing to the publications recently launched.