Improving sanitation, promoting hygiene and treating wastewater

Project description

Title: Sanitation for Millions
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Water Unite, Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Inter-American Development Bank, share GmbH
Country: Jordan, Pakistan, Uganda; Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago
Lead executing agency: Jordan: Ministry of Awqaf Islamic Affairs and Holy Places (وزارة الوقاف والشؤون والمقدسات الاسلامية), Pakistan: Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (وزارتِ ریاستی و سرحدی امور), Uganda: Ministry of Water and Environment, Belize: Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management – Department of Environment, Colombia: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible, Costa Rica: Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía, Dominican Republic: Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Guatemala: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Honduras: MiAmbiente (Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente), Jamaica: National Environment and Planning Agency, Mexico: Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT)/Comisión Nacional del Agua (CONAGUA), Panama: Ministerio de Ambiente, Suriname: Ministerie van Ruimtelijke Ordening en Milieu, Trinidad and Tobago: Ministry of Public Utilities
Overall term: 2016 to 2022

Handwashing routines at group handwashing facility in Gabba, Uganda (2019, Fotograf: James Kiyimba / GIZ)


Safely managed sanitation is a human right and one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 2030 Agenda (SDG 6.2). Protecting water resources by means of safely managed wastewater treatment is also part of this agenda (SDG 6.3). Nevertheless, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), every day more than 1,000 children die of diarrhoeal diseases caused by contaminated drinking water, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene.

Access to sustainable sanitation has scarcely improved worldwide in the last 20 years. The financial resources and knowledge required to build, operate, maintain and renovate sanitation and wastewater treatment facilities are frequently lacking. In many cases, concepts aimed at creating incentives for private investment are not applied. The problems particularly affect disadvantaged and vulnerable population groups, for instance women and girls.


A total of 1.2 million people benefit from improved sanitation at home and in public facilities, hygiene practices are mainstreamed in everyday life and sanitation wastewater is treated and either reused or returned to the natural water cycle.

Muezzin with toolbox in Jordan (2019, Fotograf: Philipp Breu / GIZ)


The project builds and renovates safely managed and inclusive sanitation facilities in schools, medical centres and religious institutions. In addition, the project trains local staff to maintain the facilities themselves, thus ensuring the sustainability of the measures.

The project conducts awareness-raising and information campaigns in the hygiene sector, focusing in particular on menstrual hygiene.

The project implements innovative and nature-based solutions for wastewater treatment. It also strives to improve political regulation, adapt standards in the wastewater sector and ensure compliance with these standards. Moreover, it promotes new financing mechanisms, develops regional knowledge management and offers online training courses in water and wastewater management.

Last revised: September 2021

Completed construction of new toilets and handwashing facility in Quetta, Pakistan (2021, Fotograf: BRSP)