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Recommendations for Netherlands new commitment on water and sanitation

Published on: 29/09/2015

Leverage is needed to create conditions for scale, say Dutch NGOs. 

26 civil society organisations have joined hands and have sent 11 recommendations to Dutch Minister Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The recommendations cover various topics such as access, sustainability, governance and finance for clean drinking water and toilets.

Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen (left) and model Erin Heatherton at Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day

During the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day celebrations in Washington DC in April, Minister Ploumen announced a new commitment to provide 50 million people with access to sanitation and 30 million people with access to clean drinking water. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently working on a strategy to achieve this commitment. The 26 civil society organisations, united in the  Netherlands Water Partnership NGO-platform, welcome Minister Ploumen’s new commitment on WASH and propose a number of recommendations that will be fundamental for the successful implementation of this commitment.

Sanitation, Sustainabilty, Governance

A first set of recommendations focuses on targeting the field of sanitation, particularly in rural areas, as this is where the gaps are biggest. Sustainability of services will be key, and thus hygiene promotion and assessing environmental risks are also included. Good governance is also identified as of great importance: users should be included in decision-making processes and local authorities need to be strengthened in order to fulfil their role as duty bearers.

... and Finance

A final set of recommendations focuses on financing. Although the new commitment of the Dutch government is significant, it is not enough. Leverage is needed to create conditions for scale. For achieving universal access to WASH a new way of thinking and financing is needed.

The 26 civil society organisations advocate the Minister to include the 11 recommendations in her future WASH programmes.