Test and document credit and savings products for water and sanitation
Why We Partnered
Established in 2009, Water.org seeks solutions to meet the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of the poor. Virtually all water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs in developing countries are grant-financed. Water.org was the first organization to develop demand-driven water, sanitation, and hygiene microloan products with a clear focus on long-term sustainability. Its WaterCredit initiative entails working with microfinance institutions (MFIs) to spur product innovation – including loans for water line connections, latrines, and water tanks – to address basic WASH needs of the poor in multiple countries.
Almost 60 percent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa lacks access to clean water and 31 percent lacks access to sanitation. Studies have shown that the poor pay 12 to 15 times more than the average urban price for access to water from private vendors. In urban slums, it is not unusual for people to borrow from moneylenders to address this basic need. MFIs have not yet filled this gap due to lack of knowledge and expertise on the WASH sector.
The MasterCard Foundation’s partnership with Water.org expands access to water in Sub-Saharan Africa by accelerating microfinance for the water sector. This program tests and adapts the WaterCredit model in Kenya and Uganda. It also develops and where possible, tests WaterSavings – the first known savings-led product focused on water and sanitation. Based on the roll-out of the products in Kenya and Uganda, Water.org will develop the business case for other MFIs in the region to move into the water and sanitation space. To increase expertise of MFIs and WASH stakeholders, the program deploys educational resources and tool kits, and facilitates cross-sector learning through exchange visits and partner meetings.
- Develop and evaluate water credit and savings products to serve at least 36,000 clients. When households are taken into consideration, the program will benefit more than 180,000 people.
- Document and disseminate learnings across the industry to scale water and sanitation financial products in Sub-Saharan Africa that meet the needs of MFI clients.
Kansas City, MO – Water.org and The MasterCard Foundation have launched a $3.6 million partnership to bring clean drinking water and sanitation services to people in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next four years.
This week was World Water Week. Organizations and people around the world rallied to raise awareness around access to safe water and sanitation. There is an urgent need to address the global water and sanitation crisis – a crisis that is exacerbated by lack of access.