• Duration: 
    Jan 2016 – June 2020
  • Value: $30 million


Only 42 percent of Afghans have access to safe drinking water, and only 27 percent of the rural population have access to sanitation facilities, resulting in diarrheal disease that claims the lives of an estimated 85,000 Afghan children, under the age of five, annually. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partners with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to support the Afghan government and civil society to increase access to safe drinking water and community sanitation facilities, and improve hygiene practices in households, schools, and health centers for at least 525,000 Afghans in 17 priority rural provinces.


  • Partner with the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), the Afghan Provincial Office of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, and communities across Afghanistan, to construct, rehabilitate, and maintain safe drinking water systems. This includes comprehensive water quality testing, and increased use of metered water systems and reliable and low maintenance solar-powered water pumps, as well as gravity-fed water systems in place of traditional hand pumps.
  • Partner with the Afghan government to construct water, sanitation, and health (WASH) facilities and implement improved hygiene in schools and community health centers.
  • Comprehensive hydrogeological mapping for the WASH sector.


  • Provided access to basic drinking water to nearly half a million people in deprived and vulnerable areas of Afghanistan, with 117,134 gaining access to metered drinking water. Sixty-four percent of the water systems are using more sustainable solar pumping or gravity fed systems.
  • Pilot-testing of a call center private enterprise model is ongoing and 184 communities have signed service contracts with trained mechanics to sustainably operate and maintain small-scale rural community water supply systems.
  • Provided running water and gender separated toilets to 392 schools, hospitals and health centers across Afghanistan.
  • Developed an online geographic information system database with existing national hydrogeological data, which will be managed by MRRD.