News / 1 October 2015

Recommendations for Minister Ploumen’s new commitments for sanitation and drinking water

26 Civil society organisations (CSOs), including Both ENDS, have joined forces and sent a position paper containing 11 recommendations to Minister Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The recommendations address access, sustainability, good governance and finance of clean drinking water and toilets.

The commitments of Minister Ploumen

At the Global Citizen Earth Day festival in Washington DC on 18 April, Minister Ploumen announced that she is committed to provide sanitary services to 50 million people and clean drinking water to 30 million people by 2030. Currently, the Ministry is working on a strategy to implement these promises. The 26 CSOs, united in the NGO-platform called the Dutch Water Partnership (Dutch abbreviation: NWP), warmly welcome these promises by Minister Ploumen, and they consider a number of issues to be of great importance for successful implementation. The NWP supports the WASH-alliance – an international consortium of NGOs, governments and companies – in achieving access to clean drinking water and sanitation for everyone. The NWP enables the Dutch members of the WASH-alliance to give input to the Dutch government on how the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can best be achieved within WASH.


Sanitation and rural areas

A first set of recommendations stresses that investments should be directed where they are needed the most: sanitation and the rural areas. A sustainable approach should, furthermore, focus on both the water sources and the infrastructure. Good governance is a key element here; local users should be involved in decision-making processes and local governments should be strengthened to improve their monitoring capacities.


Integral water governance

Both ENDS emphasizes that integral water management should become central in WASH. This means that the scope should extend beyond the water source, and that the entire ecosystem should be taken into account – i.e. the surrounding areas. To achieve the Wash-goals it is very important that stakeholders understand that the conservation of ecosystems (and not only the source) is vital for water provision. For example, in many countries large-scale (agro-)industries use large amounts of water upstream, which subsequently contaminates the water downstream. The integral water governance, as advocated by Both ENDS, should result in a fair allocation and distribution of water by mapping the need of all users (farmers, fishermen, small local communities, cities and companies), and by including them in the decision-making processes.


In search of financing for tomorrow’s water

A last set of recommendations targets the financing. Although the Dutch financial commitment remains significant, it is still a drop in the ocean. New financing strategies and new ways of thinking are needed in order to achieve universal access to clean drinking water and sanitary services. The 26 NGOs urge that the Minister will adopt the 11 recommendations in future programmes.


For more information:

11 Recommendations from Dutch NGOs to achieve the Washington commitment to sustainable water and sanitation services for the poor (August 2015), Position paper by the NWP NGO-platform: Both Ends, Amref, Aqua4All, IRC, Plan Nederland, Simavi, SNV and WASH Alliance International


Both ENDS and partners inspire during World Water Week in Stockholm (1 September 2015), Both ENDS


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