WaterAid- Mission, Vision, History and More


WaterAid is a non-Government development organization founded in 1981 as a response to the UN International Drinking Water decade (1981–1990). It focuses on SDG-6 which is “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” and works in 34 countries to provide clean water and sanitization in rural or remote areas. Now, let’s Learn about WaterAid- Mission, Vision, History, Leadership, Fund and Action Areas

WaterAid- Mission, Vision, History

Based in London, the organization was first established in the UK (21 July,1981) as a charitable fund and it completed its first projects in Zambia and Sri Lanka.

Mission and Vision:

Mission of WaterAid is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Their vision is a world where everyone, everywhere has safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

WaterAid values every culture that they work with and they believe it unites them across the many countries in which they work. They are at the very heart of WaterAid. They respect everyone with dignity and champion the rights and contribution of all to achieve a fairer world. Accountability

They are accountable to those whose lives they hope to see transformed, to those they work with and to those who support us. They are bold and inspiring in their actions and words, and uncompromising in their determination to pursue their mission. They work with others to maximize their impact, respecting diversity and difference in the pursuit of common goals. They are creative and agile, always learning, and prepared to take risks to accelerate change.

They want to change the normal of 1 out of 9 people not having access to clean water near their home and almost 1 out of 3 people not having any or decent toilet in their home around the world by working together. They hope for the future, with countries across the world supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which pledge to tackle inequality and eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.

History: WaterAid was founded in 1981 by members of the UK water industry at the Thirsty Third World conference. Since 1991, Prince Charles, the prince of Wales is the president of WaterAid. In 2004, America and Australia also joined WaterAid. Sweden joined in 2009 and in 2010 it became federation and established the WaterAid International secretariat. As of 2020, the federation has 7 member countries and 27 country programs

In 1993 WaterAid began work on their 1000th project, and also agreed to fund the Hitosa Gravity Scheme in Ethiopia. The Hitosa scheme was the largest single water supply scheme implemented in Ethiopia at the time, reaching 50,000 people.

In 2009, they launched new Global Strategy with the target of reaching 25 million more people across 30 countries by 2015. By 2011, WaterAid’s 30th anniversary year, they had reached almost 16 million people with safe water and over 11 million with sanitation.


There are around 1000 employees of the organization led by Ken Caldwell as Executive Director of WaterAid international, Rob Skinner as Chair of WaterAid International Board, Kelly Parsons as Chief Executive, WaterAid America, Tim Wrainwright as Chief Executive, WaterAid UK as mentioned earlier, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales as president.


In 2017-2018, it had a budget of 102million Euro. The organization relies on donation and grants for its funding. In the organization’s official website, they have listed multiple ways for anyone from the member countries to contribute to the organization. They also receive grants from governments and other organizations.

WaterAid has been associated with the Glastonbury Festival since 1994. By 2007, 130 WaterAid volunteers helped at the festival. In 2011, there were around 200 WaterAid volunteers present. In 2016, by which time there were over 500 WaterAid volunteers at Glastonbury, the charity introduced Talking Toilets which gave out information voiced by celebrities such as Cerys Matthews and Brian Blessed.

Water aid also holds many fundraising events every year. One of such events were ‘Coast Along for WaterAid’ an annual event that took place between 2005 and 2012. In 2010, then the British prime minister also took part in the fundraising.

In 2012, WaterAid partnered with Waterlogic to help raise funds for the poorest communities in the world, to provide them with clean and sanitary water. Waterlogic’s Firewall technology purifies water and destroys harmful bacteria. Waterlogic pledged US$225,000 to WaterAid over 3 years.

Fundraising events and initiatives in 2013 included The WaterAid200 Mountain Challenge as well as various running, cycling and other sporting challenges as well as Street fundraising.

For 2021, they have planned a fundraiser called ‘Just water’ where they challenge participants to drink only water for the month of January and avoid any other drink.

Action areas: WaterAid works in 27 countries developing communities to ensure access to clean water, decent toilets and proper sanitation. Amon these 27 countries are

South AmericaNicaragua and Colombia.
North-Western AfricaSierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal (Regional Office)
South-Eastern AfricaEthiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar, Kingdom of eSwatini and South Africa (Regional Office)
AsiaIndia (member), Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia
OceaniaTimor-Leste and Papua New Guinea

Works in Africa:


WaterAid first started work in Zambia during the 1992-1994 drought. Since then, the organization has expanded its operations to seven districts in the country, five of which are in the Southern Province (Monze, Siavonga, Namwala, Itezhitezhi and Kazungula) while the other two are Kafue in Lusaka Province and Kaoma in Western Province. The organization spends about ZMK8-9 billion (just over £1 million) annually on projects there, and have since provided 42,600 people in Zambia with access to clean, safe water.


WaterAid works closely with its partners in local communities to utilize low cost technologies to deliver sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene solutions to the poor in the economically less developed countries. WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.

Since its presence in India from 1986, WaterAid India has been growing in its significance in providing assistance to the poor in both rural and urban areas. Today, WaterAid covers over ten states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh), rendering their services to the communities that needed help most.

Role in India

The main thrust of WaterAid India’s projects is to advocate the use of latrines and to provide hygiene education with training manuals to the poorer and less educated areas. It aims to bring across the detrimental effects of poor hygiene such as diseases, loss of efficiency and high expenses in the form of costly medicine. WaterAid India hopes to inspire local communities to develop their own cost effective solutions to the existing problems.

In addition, WaterAid India, with other partner organizations, came together to tackle the issue of having access to potable water in the coastal states of India. The roots of this crisis are linked to development. Sustainable development has proved challenging for many of India’s coastal states, as they struggle to balance their delicate ecology against heavy economic demands and the desire for growth. WaterAid India and its partners explored the feasibility of technological alternatives to the problem of salinity in the groundwater – for example, rainwater harvesting, desalination and dew harvesting – and looked towards establishing an area-specific strategy for ensuring access to a domestic water supply in coastal regions.

Achievements and Prospects

WaterAid has achieved many other significant milestones since its inception. The WaterAid project in Kalmandhai, Tiruchirapalli city was declared the country’s first 100% sanitised slum in 2002. Khajapattai was recently announced as the seventh. In 2009/10, nearly 240,000 people managed to have access to safe water and sanitation, through WaterAid supported projects.

WaterAid India also plays a vital role in advising Indian policy makers to include low-cost latrines into existing sanitation subsidies in 1999, after two years of advocacy. This exemplifies WaterAid India’s persuasive powers and intent of alleviating poverty in India. Since 2003, WaterAid India has shifted its focus to the poorer states in northern India where local communities there require great assistance. In order to better meet the need of these communities, WaterAid India has shifted its head office to New Delhi.

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