Connecting financial inclusion with sustainable water and community health

This month the SEEP Network hosts “SG2018: The Power of Savings Groups” conference, bringing together leaders in financial inclusion and economic development to discuss how savings groups can be leveraged to advance financial inclusion and social impact. With more than 10 million savings group members across 70 countries, savings groups are a popular, proven approach to financial inclusion.

The Water Trust is participating in this month’s conference to explore how the financial inclusion community and the water and sanitation community can collaborate to achieve their shared goals of healthy, resilient, and empowered rural communities. We invite peer organizations to learn more about how our self-help group approach can expand the impact of savings groups to improve water point sustainability and community sanitation.

Poor rural communities in East Africa often have little savings to repair their water points, deal with emergencies, or invest in their livelihoods. At the same time, poor hygiene and sanitation practices lead to preventable deaths and chronic disease that trap families in a cycle of poor health and poverty.

We believe that savings groups can play a catalytic role in galvanizing the community development and capital formation necessary for sustainable water and sanitation and productive rural communities. We plan to pilot the approach in additional contexts and partner with counterparts across water and sanitation, financial inclusion, and government to scale this approach in East Africa and beyond.