Brazil's water and sanitation crisis
Despite having one of the largest economies and highest water availability in the world, there are still deep inequalities in access to water and sanitation among Brazil’s geographical regions, rural and urban communities and households. Out of its population of 212 million people, 30 million people (14% of the population) lack access to a reliable, safely managed source of water, and 109 million people (51%) lack access to safely managed household sanitation facilities.
For those who do have access to safe water, the water supply downtime, disruption in service and deficiencies in drinking water systems remain challenging. Current challenges include getting consistent access to water in urban areas (where water is less available), developing infrastructure that reaches people living in more rural areas, and managing the growing sewage treatment issue caused by lack of improved sanitation solutions.
Brazil is heavily dependent on hydraulic energy and droughts impact all Brazilians from reducing the supply of food developed by farms and agribusinesses of all sizes, to affecting the financial expenses of families across the country as inflation increases. Affordable access to safe water and sanitation at home is critical for families in Brazil.
Our impact in Brazil
Brazil’s high demand for water and sanitation services and advanced financial landscape positively indicates that smart, market-based solutions have the potential to accelerate water and sanitation access across the country. Currently, there are large disparities in access to financing for those living in poverty, and banking policies and perceptions remain stacked against the people we serve. Water.org is working to change this.
In 2017, we certified our first microfinance institution partner and began piloting our WaterCredit solution. Since then, Water.org has brought on additional financial partners and expanded our work in the region, reaching more than 454,000 people with access to safe water or sanitation at the household level, with executing plans to scale impact in the future.
A vision for future impact in Brazil
We are building a solid foundation in Brazil, leveraging lessons learned from pilot programs in select Brazilian states to scale the most promising approaches nationwide. These include scaling WaterCredit, supporting water utilities in their service delivery, and focusing on connecting households at the “last mile” with water and sanitation infrastructure. We see the most potential in working with commercial banks and will work with a variety of other partners – including microfinance institutions, credit cooperatives, government banks, water utilities, and key policymakers – to develop water and sanitation lending programs that are accessible and affordable to people in need.
Stories of Impact
Today Andreia and her family have safe water at home
For years, Andreia’s family didn't have access to safe water on their property. Andreia knew her kids' childhoods could be full of learning, playtime, and healthy days if Andreia could find an affordable way to give them the safe water needed to survive and thrive.Read more
Stories of Impact
Cirliane's water crisis is over
Cirliane lives in a rural farming village in Brazil. Cirliane and her husband, Gean, needed access to safe water at home so they could effectively run their farming and baking businesses and, more importantly, so they could protect the health of their baby boy, Joae.Read more
Stories of Impact
Against all odds, this dad gave his family safe water at home
It is because of generous donors that this dad in Brazil got what he needed to solve his family’s water crisis. When it seemed like all odds were against Jonas, your support made it possible for him to access an affordable, long-term safe water solution, that has changed his family’s lives.Read more
Brazil impact statistics
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