Thematic areas

  • Water for Health
    Improve and upscale the provision of adequate, affordable and inclusive water and sanitation services, particularly to marginalized groups and/or underprivileged areas.
  • River Basins and Deltas
    Secure, equitable, and ecologically sustainable governance and management of (transboundary) river basins and delta regions, including coastal areas and aquifers.
  • Water for Food
    Sustainable, and climate-change-resilient irrigation practices and agro-ecosystems to support the livelihoods of actors involved in small- and medium-scale agriculture as well as to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Focus Regions

  • Horn of Africa
    Focus Countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda
  • The Middle East
    Focus Countries: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Yemen
  • The Sahel
    Focus Countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria

Featured Stories

  • Beneath beliefs: Water access and gender dynamics in three Nigerian communities

    In some communities of Nigeria’s southern State of Akwa Ibom, menstruating women and mothers of twins are denied access to drinking water due to a belief that the village’s only water source would dry up if they used it. Such practices demonstrate how water access is shaped by social and cultural norms.

    The project WaSH GENDER aims to address such norms by sparking community-led transformative action. It seeks to understand and address gendered cultural norms that create barriers to water access and negatively impact the health, workload and overall well-being of women. The project, initiated by a network of Nigerian citizens that includes academics, lawyers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) workers and local municipalities, is supported by IHE Delft’s Water and Development Partnership Programme.

  • Blog: From mining to sharing groundwater resources: the case of Mird in the Draa Valley_ South of Morocco

    Ahmed is a young farmer of 25 years who lives in the Draa Valley, in the South East of Morocco. He started in 2012 with one hectare of water melons, and gradually expanded over the years to five hectares. According to Ahmed, water melons were introduced in the region in 2006 and attracted both foreign investors and young local farmers. Whereas the young farmers usually cultivate a couple of hectares of watermelons, which they sometimes combine with vegetables used for the family consumption, foreign investors often cultivate large land plots, and only produce water melons. Once they have pumped up the groundwater and exhausted the fertile soil they can easily move to another land plot. While observing dropping groundwater levels, the tribe to which Ahmed belongs decided in 2016 to ban the settlement of foreign investors in the region. This essay is a first attempt to explore and describe this action. To do so, we rely on various field visits which were carried out over 2019 and early 2020. These insights were combined with multiple in-depth phone interviews with three young farmers who are part of this collective action and 20 phone interviews with water melon farmers and laborers who are from other villages in the region. All farmers and laborer’s we talked to are men. When asking if there are also young female farmers, we were told that they rare in the region. The various answers of the interviewees lead us to focus in this essay on the motivations, perceptions and values, which led to this ban and related new practices of groundwater management.

  • Community-led action boosts water security on Maldivian outer islands

    With their white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters, it's natural to envision life on the islands of the Maldives as an aquatic paradise nestled in the Indian Ocean. But this paradise comes with challenges. Drinkable water, despite the seemingly water-abundant environment, is in short supply, particularly on the small, remote outer islands that are far removed from the bustling life of the capital, Malé. Climate change, urban development and water pollution have all resulted in a fragile and largely contaminated water system, making daily life hard for island residents.

  • Justice and sustainability key as project seeks to improve food production systems in Sub-Saharan Africa

    With Sub-Saharan Africa's population now exceeding 1 billion, the demand for food in the region has significantly increased. In combination with many people migrating from rural to urban areas in search of better opportunities, this puts rural agricultural communities and ecosystems under pressure to supply more food. But an increase in food production comes at a heavy cost—natural landscapes are used for agriculture, leading to soil degradation and overexploitation of water resources.

    Smallholder farmers—particularly women and indigenous farmers—bear the brunt of the environmental impacts of agricultural encroachment and pollution caused by the growing food demand. Conflicts over the land they farm and water resources they use can result in displacement, loss of land tenure and restricted access to essential resources, affecting their food security and livelihoods.

  • No Victims_ no heroes: How to talk to your grandmother about solving water issues.

    In this programme-wide learning session, Jennifer Lentfer, communications strategist and creator of, leads participants in interactive and practical writing, editing and reflection exercises to explore how we can tell more compelling, yet not overly-simplified or stereotypical stories about water-based interventions.

  • UN Water side event: Towards just water governance in Colombia

    On 23 March 2023, the programme organised a successful online session as part of the UN Water conference in New York. It discussed the Transformative Water Pact (TWP), an alternative to the UN Water Action Agenda, developed by environmental justice experts worldwide with our programme's support and in collaboration with Both Ends and the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA). 

    Thumbnail credit: Both Ends

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