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Aqua for All

Published on: 01/05/2013

Aqua for All was established 11 years ago by innovators in the Netherlands water sector to promote the "Dutch approach". We interviewed Hester Foppen to learn more about this and Aqua for All's activities.

Aqua for All at a glance

Aqua for All is a foundation based in the Hague, working to find water and sanitation solutions for the poorest people: the so-called base of the pyramid. They do this by facilitating the development of networks and partnerships, connecting public and private organisations and mobilizing resources, expertise and finance from the Dutch water sector towards development projects focused on water and sanitation. Aqua for All have an eye for innovation, sustainability and scale.

Key activities: In Ethiopia, Aqua for All are currently involved in the Resource Oriented Sanitation Services in Adama (ROSSA) project, supporting a wide range of small but vital water and sanitation projects and promoting the 3R (recharge, retention, reuse) approach to water resources management. They will take a critical role in the Millennium Water Alliance's new programme in Ethiopia from mid-2014, financing and supporting activities to introduce Self-supply technologies, build capacities and engage the finance sector.

Where Aqua for All work: Oromia and SNNPR regions, and Adama and five other cities within the same watershed area.

Find out more: Read about Aqua for All's current and pending projects in Ethiopia at:

Contact: For ROSSA and 3R work, please contact Hester Foppen:; and for Self- supply acceleration activities, contact Marlies Batterink:

Interview with Hester Foppen

Hester Foppen is at heart a matchmaker, matching Dutch water sector expertise with local expertise and demands to deliver water and sanitation projects in developing countries. Some of the questions she likes to ask are: 'who enjoys what they do and who wants to do more of that and even better? Who at the edges is important and needs to be brought in? Who wants a financial return on investment and who looks for social impact as a return on investment?' Hester and her colleagues look for innovation and expertise, searching wherever it may be hidden and mobilised.

Innovative finance is an important part of Aqua for All's work. Aqua for All actively look for new solutions. "It is a hunt for something actually rather hard to find - if it were easy it would already be adopted and happening."

Hester is also concerned about the rapidly urbanizing world. Not just the water challenges but nutrients too. Urbanisation brings more nutrients into the city, with food in the countryside where there are fewer and fewer resources. The ROSSA project in Adama aims to explore how nutrients within the city can flow back to rural and productive areas, through innovations in faecal sludge management and reuse.