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This is Everyone Forever

What is Everyone Forever?

Everyone Forever means water and sanitation that lasts for every family, clinic, and school. It sounds simple, but it’s actually a big shift in the status quo. In most water and sanitation work, the focus is on short-term wins—building a few wells or toilets without considering how they will keep serving people long into the future.

We used to operate that way until we realized it wasn’t working. When pumps and toilets broke, no one could fix them. This left communities back where they started. So in 2011, we conceptualized the Everyone Forever model. It means what it says— everyone has water that lasts forever.


means every family, clinic, and school in a district has water and sanitation services.


means water and sanitation services are sustainable and local districts and communities can maintain them for generations to come.

We’re in it for the
Long Haul

While drilling wells and installing pumps might take only days or weeks, building piped infrastructure and making sure it lasts Forever can take years.

Everyone Forever means we focus on things like protecting water supplies, training mechanics, and establishing supply chains for parts. It means we think about long-term projects like advocating for national water policies and creating local water and sanitation utilities. And we don’t call our work finished until we’re confident water will flow long after we leave a district.

Co-CEO Samson Hailu Bekele (far right) walks with community members in Rwanda.
Co-CEO Samson Hailu Bekele (far right) walks with community members in Rwanda.

How Water For People is Different

FULL COVERAGE: This means reliable and lasting water and sanitation services for every family, clinic, and school in a district – even the most vulnerable, marginalized, and hardest-to-reach.

FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY: Water For People thinks about the long term from the beginning. We ensure districts can be independent from ongoing foreign aid and have reliable access to water and sanitation for generations.

CAPACITY-BUILDING & TRAINING: Water For People ensures that when something breaks, someone has the capacity to fix it. We train governments and water committees on topics like tariff collection, maintenance, and water resources management.

COFINANCE: Local governments and communities invest resources alongside Water For People. Everyone pays, so everyone has ownership of water services.

MONITORING & EVALUATION: Water For People monitors service levels and sustainability annually, while training local partners to eventually do this themselves. This builds capacity for data-driven decision-making. 

MARKET-BASED APPROACHES: We work closely with local businesses and entrepreneurs to provide sanitation services and to operate and maintain water services. This helps create jobs.

REPLICATION & SCALE: Replicating Everyone Forever in additional districts and countries will end the global water and sanitation crisis faster. We work with sector partners and national governments to spread this impact.

Water For People India team members meet with a community in Birbhum, India
Water For People India team members meet with a community in Birbhum, India

Measuring Everyone Forever

Water For People measures progress toward reaching Everyone Forever annually. When a district reaches every community, school, clinic, and ultimately every family, we know everyone has reliable water service. Then we, alongside local partners, keep monitoring to make sure this level of water service is sustained. 

We monitor various areas that are essential for sustainability – things like financing for repairs, taking care of water resources, and having people and offices who are responsible for water services. Once a district checks off every category, we know water services are sustainable.

After a district reaches both everyone and forever milestones, we continue to provide oversight until we are certain water services are sustainable. Then we exit, confident the district can be aid-independent and provide water to every family, clinic, and school for generations to come.

Scaling Everyone Forever

We know Everyone Forever works and that it can end the global water crisis.

So we're scaling our impact beyond the districts and countries where we work—working with partners in the water sector, sharing learnings at conferences, and advising national governments to implement Everyone Forever practices.

The result is that more people will have access to sustainable water – faster.

Want a Deeper Dive?

Visit the WASH Room, our hub for everything you want and need to know about providing sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services at scale.