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 Macedonia special attention was given to the menstrual hygiene management in schools and resulted in a campaign “Lets eradicate the menstrual poverty in Macedonia“. In Albania schools in the Shkodra region are using the WSSP methodology and have been raising awareness and improving school toilets and menstrual hygiene management. In Romania the national association of Water Operators (Aquademica) has adopted the WSSP methodology to work with small municipalities and to carry out quick risk assessments of the water and sanitation situation and from there plan improvements.

Countries

Albania, Macedonia & Romania

Partners

Aquademica, Women in Development Shkodra, Journalists for Human Rights

Donors