Our history

End Water Poverty was set up in 2007 as the first global campaign calling for an end to the water and sanitation crisis. A few NGOs came together in 2007 to organise the coalition, which now has more than 260 organisations campaigning in 60 countries around the world. Each organisation campaigns with other End Water Poverty members at strategic moments in the year, such as around World Toilet Day or World Water Day, or through interacting with international policy making, such as through the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

The Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership

Our founding document was a Programme for Action which set out the goal of creating a partnership between donors, Southern governments, multilateral organisations and civil society for facilitating work towards achieving universal access to safe water and adequate sanitation.  At the heart of the ideas behind SWA was ensuring that developing countries committed to improving water and sanitation access to their citizens would be financially supported to do so by the richer countries of the world. 

In 2010, after three years of hard campaigning by End Water Poverty, the Sanitation and Water for All partnership was formed. Find out more about the SWA here.

Global campaigns

End Water Poverty coordinated two global mobilisations as part of its campaign strategy for establishing SWA. In 2010, EWP coordinated The World's Longest Toilet Queue, which mobilised 100,000 people in 81 countries. In 2011, EWP organised The World Walks for Water, which mobilised over 300,000 people to pressure their own national leaders to prioritise water and sanitation in either their aid spending or their national budget allocation.

Other campaigning activities included "Poverty Hearings" in Ghana, Liberia and South Africa ahead of the MDG+10 Summit and lobbying of the first SWA High Level Meeting in Washington DC in April 2010.

Following on from the success of our 2011 walk, in 2012 we organised The World Walks for Water and Sanitation, which was even bigger! Almost 380,000 people in 70 countries walked in solidarity with the millions of people who walk miles for water and the 2.5 billion people who have no private and safe place to go to the toilet. A key focus of the campaign was the SWA High Level Meeting in April 2012, and walkers lobbied their decision-makers and ministers to attend. The historic SWA High Level Meeting which followed saw delegations from more than 40 developing and donor countries commit to ending the water and sanitation crisis. 

End Water Poverty has continued to campaign to raise awareness about the human right to water and sanitation and ensure that we can end water poverty around the world. Our World Walks have grown in scale and size over the years, with 2016 seeing us aiming for the biggest support ever! 

Find out more about the SWA High Level Meeting in the video below: