Afghan Sustainable Water Supply & Sanitation (SWSS) Project, 2012. Sustainable Health Outcomes Unit, Project Final Report.
The USAID Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation (SWSS) project, led by Tetra Tech ARD, was designed to improve the sustainability of rural infrastructure and the health of rural populations through a balanced commitment to providing water supply and sanitation facilities and improving community hygiene behaviors. It built upon the significant work done in the water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector in Afghanistan over the previous five years. A national policy framework was in place, engineering standards were set, and over 100 projects had provided facilities in rural communities.
Despite this high level of investment, extremely low percentages of rural Afghans used improved water supplies or sanitation facilities. Widespread utilization of water systems, sanitation facilities, and a core set of hygiene behaviors is the foundation for achieving health impacts. Without health impacts, especially among women and children under the age of five, rural water and sanitation (WatSan) projects were not reaching their goal of reducing the time and money spent by farming families on treating diarrheal diseases, allowing them more time for activities that improve their economic well-being.