COVID-19 has posed detrimental impacts on quality, equity, and sustainability of services. Mitigating its negative impacts and using positive effects as leverage can increase the WASH sector’s resilience to future shocks. A study in collaboration with SIWI and UNICEF in 2021 evaluates the socio-economic effects of the pandemic on WASH systems and services.
The study concluded with lessons on WASH management and delivery of services, in a challenging and complex context. For example, service providers have promoted access to services by stopping disconnections, and ensured safe return to schools. Despite the progress, much remains to be done. Short-term measures have focused on availability and continuity of services to alleviate the severity of the COVID-19 impacts and prioritize the most vulnerable populations. But the long-term plan is to enhance the WASH sector’s resilience to future shocks.