What we do

Millions of people in Eastern Europe and the Balkan region do not have safe drinking water, hygiene or sanitation. Not at home, at school or at work. As a result, bacteria, worms and chemicals lead to chronic gastro-intestinal and other diseases. Schools often do not have safe drinking water, nor safe toilets, let alone toilets equipped for menstrual hygiene management. Legislation obliges large cities to reduce risks through a water safety planning methodology encompassing 70 steps. However, small communities especially in rural areas, lack the capacity to do so. The first step is to understand where the problems occur in the system. We have adapted the safety planning methodology to the capacity of the smaller communities. This simplified methodology is called the “Water and Sanitation Safety Planning Compendium” (WSSP). The WSSP methodology includes 10 practical steps to engage local decision makers as well as young people in mapping the risks and sources of pollution, and to identify affordable solutions. We provide training of local stakeholders, testing of drinking water wells and mapping of sources of pollution. We advocate with governments to provide supporting guidance for small municipalities. We provide financial support to implement the WSSP methodology in Eastern Europe and the Balkan region.

Focus areas

In various educational activities, our WSSP compendium is presented to various stakeholders from the education, administration and politics sectors. We are conducting trainings in North Macedonia and Albania, building on the trainings from previous projects. In Serbia, our WSSP compendium is being introduced for the first time. Media campaigns and public relations work are used to sensitise the local population to the issue, thereby promoting social awareness and the ability to act on one’s own responsibility in the field. In Romania and North Macedonia, online educational portals on water, sanitation, wastewater and the environment will be set up to help teachers integrate WSSP into their curriculums. Our North Macedonian partners will promote the introduction of WSSPs at national and local level in round tables with political decision-makers.

Countries

Romania, North Macedonia, Albania & Serbia

Partners

Aquademica Foundation, Journalists for Human Rights, Women in Development Shkoder, Milieukontakt Albania, Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development

Donors