World Walks for Water and Sanitation

World Walks for Water and Sanitation is changing! Planning our global action month 2016.

We want to make you aware of the changing structure of World Walks for Water and Sanitation. Since 2011, support and participation, particularly evident in the number of people involved, has increased dramatically, with members from all over the world joining in, and walking to raise awareness about the need for access to improved water and sanitation.

The event is now getting even bigger!

Over the next few months, we will be developing details plans for the next stage of development for the event, which will now run for the whole month of March 2016. After extensive consultation with EWP members, World Walks for Water and Sanitation will now become an event under our campaign ‘Keep Your Promises’. We will be moving away from a focus on holding walks as the primary activity on World Water Day on 22 March, to a month of global action, which will see a range of activities held to highlight our common theme.

Keep Your Promises – on the human right to water and sanitation. The ‘Keep Your Promises’ campaign has been running since 2012. The focus of the campaign is ensuring that everyone’s human right to water and sanitation is realised: the campaign is asking for governments to keep the promises they have already made on the right and ensure that everyone has access to water and sanitation

The month of global action will focus on increased advocacy around water and sanitation, with civil society acting with one united voice. The campaign will prioritise holding decision-makers to account on their promises to realise the human right to water and sanitation; at local, national, regional and global levels. Activities could include holding meetings with government officials, community engagement workshops and awareness raising campaigns, along with walks and other outreach activities. Any activities you chose to hold to support the campaign and raise awareness should fit into your organisations plans, and into your country context. All activities will aim to increase longer term advocacy and change, and create a united, amplified voice calling for a realisation of the human right to water and sanitation, and an end to water poverty. 

Stay connected with us for more information about joining the global action month in 2016. 


Previously in 2015

World Water Day is celebrated around the world every year on March 22, and for the last four years hundreds of thousands of people across the world have mobilised to Walk for Water and Sanitation. Activists, schoolchildren and communities from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia have taken to the streets to demand their human right to water and sanitation is fulfilled so that they can have the clean running water and safe, hygienic sanitation they need to live the lives they choose. The World Walks for Water and Sanitation is the largest worldwide mobilisation for universal access to water and sanitation and, as such, provides an excellent opportunity for communities to lobby governments to meet the demands of this global campaign.

2015 saw incredible successes and achievements: 

  • Over 455,000 people walked, with events taking place in 35 countries around the world.
  • The largest numbers of individuals uniting for walks were held in the Democratic Republic of Congo with 201,000 people, in Belgium with 137,000 people, and in Pakistan, with over 15,000 people. 
  • Great online presence, with a reach of 893,000 on Twitter alone! 

For more infomation on the great work done in 2015, read the WWFWS 2015 - Evaluation report. 

Stay up to date with plans and developments for 2016

Previously in 2014, on and around World Water Day, more than 600,000 people in more than 40 countries came together to tell politicians to stick to the commitments they have made on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). As a result of this, decision makers took steps towards fulfilling the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. Click to find out more in English, French, Spanish.

  • A brochure explaining what happened in the 2014 campaign is available in EnglishFrench and Spanish. The 2014 promotional video is available here.
  • A brochure explaining what happened in the 2013 campaign is available in English and French. A video about the 2013 mobilisation available here through Youtube.
The “Keep Your Promises” campaign has been running since 2012. It was central to last year’s Walks and as a key part of the campaign featured a petition asking decision makers to keep their promises on water and sanitation and commit to securing universal and sustainable access to water and sanitation.
After a year of dedicated campaigning across the world, an amazing 1.1 million people – and rising – have signed the Keep Your Promises petition. It was submitted to a number of local, regional and national decision makers, and at the UN General Assembly in September 2013 the petition was shared with the UN Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson - who also decided to sign the petition.
You could use the Keep Your Promises campaign to frame your walk for water and sanitation. Decision makers where you live, whether in your community or in your country as a whole, have made commitments on water and sanitation – and you can use your walk to hold them to account for whichever of these promises you feel to be the most important. And you can also use the global strength of the petition to support your demands: 1.1 million people have already joined you in asking leaders to keep their promises!

Our new World Walks for Water and Sanitation Campaign Toolkit is now available to download here.  


Read the evaluation report for more information about the 2015 campaign.

WWFWS 2015 - Evaluation FINAL.pdf