About Ru-WatSP

The National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program (Ru-WatSP) under the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) in Afghanistan is leading the Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector in rural areas. The core concept of having national Ru-WatSP under the framework of MRRD was the provision of safe potable water and sanitation facilities as a basic need under a unique approach and WASH policy for all rural inhabitants of Afghanistan.


Improvement in the quality of life of people through their improved access to safe and sustainable water and sanitation services and increased adoption of hygienic practices at the personal, household and community level, resulting in (i) reduced morbidity and mortality rates (particularly children under five) (ii) enhanced productivity and well-being of the people.

Main activities of Ru-WatSP:

  • Improve access of the rural population to 25 liters per capita per day (LPCD) with the quality of drinking water as per the Afghanistan National Standards Authority (ANSA) and World Health Organization (WHO) norms.
  • Make 50% rural villages/ communities in the country Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2020 by empowering communities to:
    • Improve existing traditional latrines to become safe, hygienic and ensure user privacy;
    • Make new latrines as models of safe sanitation in households, schools and clinics;
    • Undertake the safe disposal of solid and liquid wastes;
    • Provide hygiene education with appropriate follow-up activities in schools, households and communities for sustained behavior change and adoption of safe hygiene practices;
    • Community based O&M of water supply projects;
  • Overall leading and implementation of quality WASH services by developing required strategies, policies and guidelines.
  • Capacity building of WASH relevant agencies in hygiene, sanitation and water supply.
  • Provide awareness to rural inhabitants by the development of training and Information Education Communication (IEC) materials in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
  • Coordinating WASH activities by developing the required systems for informed planning, monitoring and evaluation and information sharing among stakeholders to ensure equity and delivery of services for all and everywhere.
  • Provide and facilitate emergency response approach during natural or man-made disasters.
  • Groundwater protection/conservation through small scale irrigation that also creates employments and agriculture productivities.
  • Develop standards, technology options and design for WASH facilities.
  • Chairing regular monthly coordination meetings for rural Water and Sanitation Group (WSG).
  • Leading the regional and global partnerships (SDG 6, South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN), Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) and Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS), etc.

Key Achievements of Ru-WatSP since 2003 – early 2020

Construction of water points/sources:

  • Completed over 30,475 water wells fitted with hand pumps, 1,218 pipe schemes for water networks and 2,021 water reservoir (benefitting 9,400,426 people).
  • Technical assessments (survey and design, hydrogeology study of water supply schemes from simple bore wells up to complex pipe scheme projects)
  • Hygiene education covered over 1.55 million people
  • Newly constructed and improved latrine -118,448 benefiting 829,136 people
  • A total of 12,684 community elders (Mula Imams, Teachers, and CDC members, Community Health Workers (CHWs) /supervisors) and 22,970 Family Health Action Group (FHAG) members trained in hygiene behavior changes.

Where we are

The JMP-2017 estimates that currently, around 54 percent of rural communities have access to improved water supply, 33 percent to sanitation facilities and 18 percent of the rural population still practice open defecation. Under-five child mortality reported 55/100 (DHS-2015) and stunting rate for children from 0-59 months estimated 40.6 percent which are partially accounted for insufficient access to improved water supply and sanitation facilities (NNS-2013).


Budget Line Planned Budget (USD)-2020 Funded Budget (USD)-2020
UNICEF 9,000,000 7,000,000
MoF-(AFG/430063) 33.3 million 14,025,974
MoF-(AFG/430481) 6,786,897 2,077,922
Italian Cooperation 1,064,000

Where we want to be in 2020

The national Ru-WatSP aims to achieve access to the safe drinking water supply to 75 percent of the population. This requires the creation of 32,000 new water points and rehabilitation of 16,000 dysfunctional ones. Providing 4,700 schools with new water points and repairing of dysfunctional wells to reach 80 percent of schools with safe drinking water. Increase access to improved sanitation to 50 percent of the population, which requires creating 143,000 villages ODF and reduces OD by 2 percent.

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