The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis but also has far-reaching social and economic consequences. The spread of the virus is closely related to water and sanitation as access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a fundamental determinant of health. Safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene services are an essential part of preventing disease and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks. Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most important prevention measures and can reduce the transmission of diseases like COVID-19. Through good WASH facilities many co-benefits will be realized, including preventing millions of deaths each year caused by other infectious diseases. Today billions of people all over the world lack safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. COVID-19 is an illustration of existing vulnerabilities and inequalities in our world. As the virus spreads throughout the world, it is increasingly clear that people with the least access to essential services like water will feel the most dramatic effects.
The Swiss Water Partnership and its’ members are active to provide knowledge, innovative solutions and sustainable infrastructure to the poorest of the world. Investing in long-term water security and access to clean water and sanitation is essential for public health. The collaboration in the network supports the achievement of the goal of a sustainable provision of universal access to drinking water and sanitation for all citizens. Swiss know-how and experiences will help other countries to address these challenges.