Water for Life is a project initiated and maintained by the Norwegian Red Cross. The goal of the project is to gather money to finance different water projects across the world.
In Norway, water is an abundant resource and accessing it only requires a minimum of action. This is not however, a universal reality. The time and effort that many women and children spend on collecting water – which is often contaminated- put them in a particularly vulnerable situation as they are being deprived from education opportunities or access to the work market. Water contamination and scarcity can thus lead to a perpetual circle of poverty and health problems.
Today, approximately 800 million people lack access to clean water. This causes more than 6000 deaths every single day, and children are the most vulnerable group.
Water for Life aims to improve people’s access to clean water by drilling wells, building latrines as well as increased focus on hygiene education.
Our programs aim to:
Red Cross provides hygiene education, improves sanitary conditions and establishes local water control entities which ensure access to clean water.
While having the potential to supply the entire world population, the fresh water reserves of the world only sufficiently benefits a fraction of it. The challenge is thus to ensure that people can access safe, clean and local water resources. In places where water scarcity is severe due to geographical, technical, climatic or societal challenges, there is a high demand for special resources and expertise.
– Elkjøp is a highly influential company, and has for several years been an important partner for Water for Life. Elskjøp has thus contributed to the realization of important water projects. Their involvement stems from a desire to contribute to the society of witch they themselves are a part.
– GK Gruppen is a leading full technical contractor and service partner, and supports Water for Life. They have previously funded the building of a pre-school in Lesotho, which was finished in 2006.
– Frognerseteren Restaurant joined the Water for Life project in May, 2009. They started to start charge five kroner per glass of water in their café Seterstua, and to match that income with a similar amount which is donated to the project.
– Oktan is one of Scandinavia’s largest ad agencies and one of the initiators behind the Water for Life project. They help with the project’s marketing strategy and project management.
– E-CO Energy, Norway’s second largest hydropower producer, truly understand the value of water and their support to the Water for Life projects is thus a natural part of their corporate social responsibility. E-CO has been a partner of the Norwegian Red Cross since 2013, and in 2017 they signed their second three-year partnership agreement with the Red Cross to continue to support Water for Life, focusing on the projects in Burundi.
–September 2015 TESS signed a three-year partnership agreement with the Red Cross to support Water for Life. The project has a natural link to TESS ‘expertise in hoses and accessories. TESS will in addition to the economic performance contribute their expertise to the Red Cross water and sanitation projects. CSR in the community is important for TESS therefore they recruit employees to volunteer activities in Norway. TESS is the leading supplier of hoses and accessories for all purposes and related services. Their market is nationally and internationally with service centers spread throughout Norway as well as service centers in Denmark, Scotland, Brazil, USA and Singapore.
– Working With landscaping and gardening, Wikholm operates mainly in the Bergen area and supllies Wood care, lawn trim, playgrounds, road safety and landscaping of outdoor areas. Wikholm AS is a partner for Water for Life from 2017. Water is central to the planning, construction and maintenance of outdoor areas and green areas, which are important tasks for a landscaper. Through supporting Water for Life, Wikholm helps more people from outside Norway gain access to clean water through well drilling, water source protection, latrine construction and hygiene training.
The Norwegian Red Cross helps to strengthen local communities’ abilities to face humanitarian challenges in a long term perspective. We place special emphasis on community-based health education, disease prevention, and water and sanitation programs. To achieve the desired health benefits, our program consists of different activities that together complement each other:
The measures used to ensure access to clean water vary according to, amongst other things, level of infrastructure and the geographical and climatic conditions of the different regions. Water and sanitation programs also serve to strengthen communities’ ability to adapt to prolonged droughts and thereby improve people’s food security. It is particularly important to improve conditions for the most vulnerable groups in society, such as orphans and vulnerable children in particular. This holistic approach can help communities to a brighter, self-reliant future.
The Norwegian Red Cross’ support to Pakistan Red Crescent in Sindh province started in the aftermath of the flood response in 2010 where the support started a community resilience building project in the Jacobabad District. The support has later been extended to 8 districts in Pakistan benefiting 260,200 of the most vulnerable people. A special focus of the program is improving the living quality and health of rural poor through water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion.
The Lebanese Red Cross is providing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services to Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities with the primary purpose of satisfying vital needs, dignity and prevent public health risks. Lebanese Red Cross has worked in WASH since 2014, mainly covering gaps in areas where other organizations are not present or unable to access. With support from the Norwegian Red Cross and the Norwegian MFA, Lebanese Red Cross started working in Hygiene Promotion (HP) in 2015 and reaches an average of 2000 Syrian refugees every month with hygiene promotion and distribution of hygiene kits. A clear change in the hygienically behaviour of the refugees can be noticed as the project develops as a result of increased community awareness.
The Norwegian Red Cross supports the Colombian Red Cross with mobile health clinics that also inspect the water and sanitation situations whereever they go. The Colombian Red Cross focuses on providing access to clean water, providing hygiene training and teaching people how to handle their garbage to prevent the spreading of disease.
In Nepal close to 42 percent of the country’s 27 million people live below the poverty line. Only 27 percent of the population has access to sanitation facilities, and although 80 percent have access to potable water it is not clean. Those who live in poor and remote area has limited or no access to clean drinking water. Many must walk for hours to fetch water in rivers or other open water sources. Nepal Red Cross, with support from the Norwegian Red Cross, has been working with the aim of better hygiene and sanitation facilities for people in four districts (Nawalparasi District, Rupendehi, Syangja District and Kavre) in the country.
Even though Burundi has vast sources of surface water, its quality is poor. The Red Cross water projects in Burundi are thus focusing on securing the already accessible water resources from contamination sources such as grazing livestock. In addition, implementation of simple purification methods like natural filters can secure the communities’ access to clean water.
Red Cross Madagascar covers the whole country and thus manages to respond quickly during human-made and natural disasters. In order to prepare the population on future crises, they work to improve community resilience in chosen districts, and improved access to clean water and sanitary conditions are some of its key aspects. Recently, water projects have been started up in 12 new communities in Madagascar and the work in further 8 communities is set to start up soon.
Access to clean water and good sanitary conditions are prerequisites for good health. The Red Cross thus works continuously to secure future income sources to finance water- and sanitary projects which are important elements in building resilient societies.
In a cooperative effort with our partners, we contribute to:
If you would like more information or if you wish to schedule a meeting to discuss Water for Life, please contact us,
Telephone: +47 911 58 973
Ann Christin Håland
Telephone: +47 950 24 233