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Water For People – our name, our mission, and a simple truth: people need water. Despite this seemingly straightforward concept, we know the global water crisis is deep and complex – interconnected with policies, borders, climate, and livelihoods.

In 2023, our teams across the world tackled this work with passion, creativity, and tenacity. From forging partnerships with communities to advocating on global stages, Water For People team members are helping build a world where everyone has reliable, safe water and sanitation access. Looking forward, it’s through this collective strength that we can urgently advance our strategy and change lives through climate resilience, gender equity, improved health, and economic opportunities – because water is at the center of them all.

We invite you to explore this report – celebrating our accomplishments, learning from our challenges, and recognizing that, together, we are all united in working toward that simple truth: providing Water For People.

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Samson Hailu Bekele

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Mark Duey

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Eleanor Allen
Board Chair

A woman wearing a Water For People vest raises her hand in front of a group of students also raising their hands against a green, outdoor background.
Brenda Nabusindo, Water and Sanitation Engineer with Water For People, addresses students in a presentation about hygiene at a primary school in Luuka, Uganda.

2023 Impact Report

View or download the entire report as a PDF: 

Our Values and Identity

After a globally inclusive process, we have defined new organizational values and refreshed our brand to reflect the ambition, critical thinking, and transformation required to bring lasting solutions to the world’s water and sanitation crisis.

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Collective Transformation

We believe in the power of collective action.

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Environmental Stewardship

We are committed to being responsible stewards of the environment.

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We act honestly and transparently to inspire trust.

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We encourage brave exploration of new ideas and informed risk-taking.

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Amplify All Voices

By putting people first, celebrating diversity, and pursuing justice, we prioritize our shared humanity.

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Our Logo

While our colors are brighter and more urgent, our logo and its symbolism remains the same. The Water For People logo represents the bond between water and humanity. The bars topped with circles signify the variety of people around the world who help ensure lasting water and sanitation solutions. The curving lines and droplets below represent water. A horizontal separation stretches across the middle, creating the presence of a reflection – the kind of reflection you often see on water.

"Our goal in refreshing our values was to ensure our identity as an organization mirrored the change and impact we wish to catalyze.

It is not about doing more of the same; it is about changing the global landscape and changing ourselves in order to change lives."

Director of Partnerships, Policy, and Advocacy
Water For People

2023 In Review

Through the Everyone Forever model, Water For People aims to reach every family, community, school, and health clinic with lasting water, sanitation, and hygiene services. See the 2023 achievements at the local level made possible by our teams, partners, and supporters.

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People reached with new or improved water services

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People reached with new or improved sanitation services

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People reached with hygiene education

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Schools with access to improved water, sanitation, and hygiene

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Health clinics with access to improved water, sanitation, and hygiene

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Communities with new or improved water service

Varnmala, a community member of the Ekjira Village, joined Water For People's Runway for Water campaign to draw attention to water scarcity challenges in her area.
Varnmala, a community member of the Ekjira Village, joined Water For People's Runway for Water campaign to draw attention to water scarcity challenges in her area.

Local Spotlight Chikhaldara

The hillsides in Chikhaldara are home to numerous rural tribal communities. Water availability is volatile here as droughts become more common and families grapple with the impacts of climate change. Women and young girls often walk a mile or more several times a day with water vessels on their heads to collect water for their family’s needs.

Limited opportunities to generate income, social caste disparities and discrimination, and mounting environmental challenges compound the difficulties faced by many families in Chikhaldara. 

Water For People began partnering with local communities and government partners in 2019, ensuring historically vulnerable and excluded populations, including low caste and tribal communities, have ongoing access to safe, reliable water and sanitation services.

Runway for Water

Water For People highlighted the reality of walking for water through the Runway for Water campaign and video.

Watch to meet the women of Ekjira Village in Chikhaldara.

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Women walking on a hillside near Ekjira Village in Chikhaldara, India.

Global Map

Milestones Everyone Forever

Water For People and our local partners collect data to determine Everyone and Forever milestones. Everyone measures sanitation and water services at the household, community, and public institution (school or health clinic) levels. Forever considers the sustainability of the services maintained by communities and districts. Each year, these milestones help guide our plans, priorities, and celebrations.

Milestones Achieved in 2023

Household Water
Everyone Milestone

Kicukiro, Rwanda

Community Water
Everyone Milestone

San Bartolomé Jocotenango, Guatemala
Santa Cruz del Quiché, Guatemala
Gicumbi, Rwanda

Public Institution
Everyone Milestone

San Andrés Sajcabajá, Guatemala

Forever Milestone

Cuchumuela, Bolivia
Arani, Bolivia
Asunción, Peru
Cascas, Peru

Community member Tenywa Thomas tends to trees at a nursery in Luuka, Uganda.

Water is at the Center
Of Everything

We see how people's access to water and sanitation connects to their health and well-being, gender equity and empowerment, economic opportunities, and ability to withstand the impacts of climate change.

Climate change affects water and sanitation access for people worldwide through more devastating weather events and associated floods, droughts, storms, and landslides. From too much, too little, or too polluted water, more people are experiencing crises, specifically the populations least responsible for climate change. Water For People is defining and integrating climate-resilient water, sanitation, and hygiene work so that communities can survive environmental events that are increasing in intensity and frequency.

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Water For People helped plan and build a new tree nursery in Arbieto in central Bolivia. Climate change has increased flooding, erosion, and water source depletion in this area. Tree planting combats these risks by capturing rainfall and gradually releasing it, replenishing the groundwater levels.

No one should die from a preventable disease. And yet, 1.4 million deaths could be prevented each year with safe water, sanitation, and hygiene access. Further, the World Bank says hygiene promotion is the most cost-effective health intervention. Water For People’s activities include protecting water sources, safely managing human waste, reaching hospitals and clinics with reliable water and sanitation access, and providing hygiene training in schools and communities – all contributing to saving lives.

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Proper hygiene and infection control measures are critical at the Nguludi Hospital in Chiradzulu, southern Malawi. Liness Kaluwa, a patient attendant, personally felt the risks. "It was life-threatening," she shares. "Especially when we heard that cholera was on the rise early this year in the district due to the cyclone. My skin would shiver hearing stories of fellow hospital workers contracting infections due to poor waste management." Water For People partnered with the local government and the hospital where Liness works to bring hygiene training to the employees.

Globally, women and girls are responsible for water collection in 7 out of 10 households without water at their homes. Each step a woman or girl takes to collect water is a step away from education, income-generating activities, security, and leisure. Training women in business and civic leadership, establishing menstrual hygiene changing rooms and education in schools, bringing women's voices into the design and operation of water systems, and ensuring access to the dignity and privacy of bathrooms are a few ways Water For People promotes equity and opportunity.

School in Luuka UG (5)

"I’ve been to schools where the situation is bad." Prossy is a seventh-grade student in Luuka, Uganda, who has seen what it’s like when schools do not have water or usable bathrooms. Poor conditions lead many students, particularly young girls, to drop out. Water For People partnered with Prossy’s current school to establish reliable water access and build new bathrooms. "The school toilets are even better than the ones I have at home," she says. "Now I enjoy coming to school every day!"

In 2023, entrepreneurial trainings enhanced the work of water pump mechanics, water sellers, pit latrine emptiers, and hardware shop owners around the world. Their businesses now contribute to the sustainability and longevity of water and sanitation services in their communities and establish economic stability for their families. More widely, people’s access to water and sanitation drives economic growth – the reduced health burden and increased time for productivity lower barriers to prosperity.

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In Honduras, more than 5 million people are not connected to sewers or lack access to septic tank emptying. Ingrid Cortez, a businesswoman in Yoro, Honduras, saw an opportunity. Ingrid heard Water For People had a program to promote businesses that offer sanitation services in rural communities. "It has been over a year and a half since we started offering septic tank emptying services. Our company has been growing, improving, and providing effective, competitively priced, and affordable solutions," Ingrid shares. Her business is thriving – generating income for her family while promoting a healthier environment in her community.

"No single organization is going to end the water crisis or achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 on their own. We truly believe that our impact as a collective is greater in alliance than the sum of the individual parts."

Chief Impact Officer, Water For People

Our Strategy Destination 2030

Water For People teams have spent years learning, listening, testing, and refining our Everyone Forever approach to local work. In partnership with local governments, we work until every family, school, and health clinic in a set geographic area has lasting water, sanitation, and hygiene access. After these services are sustainable and operating independently, Water For People can begin the transition to exit – with communities, local utilities, and district governments maintaining their own water and sanitation systems entirely.

But this last piece is difficult. Local governments need funding, policies, and partnerships in place to maintain the continuity of these services. If these policies and partnerships only exist at the local government level, sustainability is even more of a challenge. The missing piece? Connecting the work happening at the local level with national government policies and leaders.

So, we are taking the model further with our current Destination 2030 strategy. Alongside our local Everyone Forever work, we are expanding our impact to include strengthening systems regionally, nationally, and globally.

Truly ending the world’s water crisis will take bigger thinking, greater funding, and deeper collaborations.

Water For People and community leaders gather for a meeting in Luuka, Uganda
Water For People and community leaders gather for a meeting in Luuka, Uganda

National and Global Strategies at Work

The Water For People team is working to get municipal water and sanitation offices legally mandated. This law change would provide more financial resources and capacity for these local utilities nationwide. Engaging in dialogues, advocating with congressional sub-committees, and establishing champions for this change are all part of the ongoing strategy to strengthen the local actors and government offices responsible for maintaining long-term services in their municipality.

Topography, long distances, and the lack of skilled labor make delivering rural water and sanitation services particularly challenging for the government in Peru. The Water For People team in Peru developed and piloted a regional certification program and training for local offices to help rural areas. 

After more than a decade without country expansion, Water For People decided to start working in Tanzania primarily based on the national government’s clear desire for strong water and sanitation services. One way our team partners with the national government is by analyzing and presenting data on how investing in water, sanitation, and hygiene will support other national sectors, such as health and economic development.

Water For People supported the development of a national financing strategy. This outlines the funds needed to provide universal water, sanitation, and hygiene services nationally. With local experience showing us that financing is the greatest barrier to sustainable water services in Rwanda, the Water For People team worked with local districts to create future-facing plans and funding models that can be used to advocate with the national government.

As recognized by the African Development Bank’s Chief Water Development Officer, this financing strategy demonstrated the Rwandan government's readiness, leading to the approval of a $300m+ loan for two national programs focused on sustainable and resilient services.

Water For People co-hosted All Systems Connect as part of the One For All alliance. Global challenges – from climate change to competition for scarce resources – require us to think creatively, act differently, and connect across sectors and disciplines. Seven hundred participants from 50+ countries came together to change how we work, accelerate action towards the Sustainable Development Goals, and promote water, sanitation, and hygiene as a gateway to justice.

Global Collaboration

Water For People co-developed the Destination 2030 strategy with our partner IRC – an organization with deep expertise in water, sanitation, and hygiene influence work. To build further accountability and momentum, we co-founded the One For All alliance. Organizational members (Water For People, IRC, and Water for Good) operate under the shared Destination 2030 strategy with a joint Theory of Change, monitoring metrics, and impact targets. Together, we champion collaborative methods to support water, sanitation, and hygiene justice issues across the world.

Through these partnerships with local, regional, and national governments, we are strengthening the water and sanitation systems that can serve millions.

Liza Rivera, Senior Advisor for Influence and Strategic Partnerships with Water For People, shares her expertise at the All Systems Connect conference, an international water, sanitation, and hygiene symposium hosted by One For All.


Financials reflect October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023.


In 2022, we received a transformational $15 million gift from philanthropic leader MacKenzie Scott. By strategically investing portions of this gift across multiple years, we are accelerating programs in alignment with our Destination 2030 Strategy. We are planning to make these investments through 2026, resulting in larger variances between our expenses and revenue in a given year.

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View or download the entire report as a PDF: