Water1st is fortunate to be in a position to extend our reach to Mozambique, where 80% of the population lacks access to water and toilets. Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 180th out of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index.

After rigorously vetting potential partner organizations over the past two years, we have chosen to invest in Grupo de Saneamento de Bilibiza (GSB). GSB is a smart, compassionate, motivated, and resourceful organization working to help rural communities in the Quissanga District in northern Mozambique. Partner selection is paramount to our success. Not all implementing groups are equal. In addition to technical skills, GSB has the desire and ability to organize and mobilize people. GSB is also genuinely curious to know the actual outcomes of their work. When something doesn’t meet their expectations, they make an adjustment. This commitment to constant program improvement is a key characteristic we look for in our partner evaluation process.

Our partnership will provide GSB with sufficient financial support to develop a holistic water and sanitation approach tailored to their environment. Our goal is to realize success during this preliminary partnership, leading to establishing full partner status with GSB.


Population: 25,830,000
Population living below $1.25 a day: 61%
Life expectancy: 55 years
Death rate, under 5: 87 per 1,000
Our Local Partner: Grupo Saneamento de Bilibiza


1 water system serving 1,600 people

*Source: UNICEF



Poor sanitation conditions, lack of toilets, open defecation, and lack of water sources has resulted in unhygienic environments, fueling the spread of water and sanitation-related diseases, and contributing to high child and maternal mortality rates. Less than 2% of the Quissanga district population has access to piped water and 77% do not have sanitary toilets or latrines. Water sources range from poorly-sealed shallow wells to ponds and rivers, with women and girls fetching water more than 8 kilometers from their homes.

Approximately 90% of the Quissanga population practice subsistence agriculture. Markets for agricultural products are limited, making it difficult for families to generate income. In response to this challenge, GSB has formed farmers’ co-ops to increase productivity and shift cultivation to more marketable products. Even with assistance from GSB, farmers are still earning less than $1,000 per year.


In 2017, GSB expects to reduce the transmission of waterborne infectious diseases through the provision of water, sanitation, and hygiene-education services to the rural town of 19 de Outubro, population 1,600. This project will include piped water to households and the adoption of flush toilets, levels of service that are necessary to achieve the project’s goals. Alongside these interventions, GSB will embark on a public-health promotion campaign to encourage hygienic practices made possible by access to clean water and toilets.