Frequently asked questions

We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions for you.

Do you want more information about the Water Wake-Up Call, climate change or practical information about Simavi? Then check out the questions below!

What is the Water Wake-Up Call movement trying to achieve?

With your signature, we call on the Dutch government to do the following:

  • The climate crisis is a water crisis. Therefore, the Dutch budget for climate adaptation needs to increase and specific additional budget items need to be added in order to deal with the water crisis. The budget for water and sanitation in low- and middle-income countries must increase.

  • Climate financing must be more transparent and must reach those living in extreme poverty. As the Netherlands, we are also responsible for the causes of this crisis, and we must therefore bear responsibility and support those who suffer the impact of the climate crisis. Financial aid must reach those who are hit hardest.

  • The knowledge, skills and leadership of women and local organisations driving collective action to fight the climate crisis must be utilized, in order to create space for the voice of women and girls in relevant discussions and decision-making processes at local and (inter)national levels.

Are there any other ways in which I can support the campaign besides giving financial support?

  • Sign the petition and join us in calling on the government to increase the budget for climate adaptation, to make climate finance more transparent, and to put the knowledge, skills, and leadership of women and local organisations at the heart of the campaign.

  • Create awareness around water issues and inspire others to join as well. In the Netherlands, we still know far too little about the water crisis. Simavi will tell you more about this during the campaign and will put local knowledge at the forefront of what we do.

  • Share the petition and ask your family, friends and organisations around you to support our campaign.

What will Simavi do with the money that will be raised?

With the money raised, you will support Simavi's mission. Since 1925 Simavi has been working for a healthy and equal world in several countries in Africa and Asia. We do this with special attention to water and sanitation, women's equality and local solutions. Curious about our current projects? Have a look on our website.

Who is the target group of this movement?

With this Water Wake-Up Call, we are trying to reach everyone because water is important for us all! We ask you to take action by signing the petition and creating water awareness. Companies and partners can help by increasing their water awareness and responsibility. We demand tough promises from politicians and together we will make sure that these promises will be kept.

Climate change: what is it?

The earth is warming up, due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases, such as CO2 and methane, trap heat from the sun and create a 'natural' greenhouse effect. Without the greenhouse effect, Earth’s temperature would be below freezing. However, since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been increasingly influencing the climate and the Earth's temperature. By burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests and farming livestock more greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, which causes global warming. 

Why is the climate crisis a water crisis?

The climate crisis is inextricably linked to water: 90% of all natural disasters are water-related. Climate change undermines the enjoyment of many human rights, including the human rights to water and sanitation. Extreme drought and severe flooding put pressure on the access and quality of drinking water for millions of people.  Water shortages now affect more than 3 billion people, while 1,5 billion people suffer severe water scarcity or even drought. 

Why do we need to address the water crisis NOW?

  • Water is a human right, not a privilege.  

  • Access to water is a universal human right. Safe water is an essential part of a healthy and dignified life. 

  • Climate change is leading us to an unprecedented water crisis.  

  • Floods, droughts and changing weather conditions are also visible in Europe, and even in the Netherlands. But low- and middle-income countries are hit the hardest by the climate crises. 

  • The water crisis is causing more inequality.  

  • Women and girls that live in areas that are vulnerable to climate-related disasters are particularly affected. They are not being listened to and they are not being reached by our climate funds. 

  • We are stuck with false promises.  

  • World leaders remain stuck in promises and do not make enough concrete agreements. Many countries do not or hardly release any money, or pull clever accounting tricks. 

  • Water is a joint responsibility.  

    We must all become involved in dealing with water issues worldwide. Behaviour here affects people everywhere. How do we deal with our water and what do we demand of our leaders?

What does Simavi already do on climate resilience and women and girls?

  • Facilitates the identification of barriers women and girls face to meaningfully participate and lead in decision-making processes regarding climate adaptation and mitigation strategies and seeks solutions to remove these.

  • Improves access to (climate) information for women and girls to enhance their knowledge, skills and opportunities for participation in decision-making processes.

  • Joins forces with other actors, in particular local civil society organisations (CSOs), to co-create and implement programmes that enhance the sustainability of water, sanitation and hygiene systems, with a special focus on improving gender equality, inclusion and climate resilience.

  • Invests in risks assessments and supports CSOs to develop adaptive pathways scenarios toward more climate-resilient water, sanitation and hygiene services.

Why do you focus specifically on women and girls (in this campaign)?

This campaign focuses specifically on women and girls, as they are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of the climate crisis. At the same time, women and girls are key to the solution.

  • Women and girls carry the heaviest burden in collecting water for their households. When availability and quality of water declines as a result of climate change, women and girls are forced to walk further and longer to find water for their homes, leaving less time to earn an income, attend school or care for the family. As primary collectors and users of water, women are uniquely positioned to develop strategies for adapting to a changing climate and building more resilient communities.

  • Water forms an integral part of menstrual health. Access to toilets and safe and continuous supply of water is essential for women to perform their preferred menstrual practices in safety and dignity. Yet, increased water scarcity and widespread damage to sanitation infrastructure due to extreme weather events limit access to clean water and sanitation facilities.

  • Climate events such as floods also lead to a decrease in water quality, which has a greater effect on women. They are more often in contact with contaminated water due to traditional household gender roles and their own specific needs related to menstruation.

Due to their important position in water collection, women are uniquely placed to develop strategies for adapting to a changing climate and to build more resilient communities. Their input and leadership is crucial in decision-making processes around climate change.  

In which countries do we work?

During this campaign, we want to put pressure on the Dutch government to increase their budget for climate adaptation efforts, particularly in low-and lower-middle-income countries. As Simavi, we work together with partners on climate adaptation as part of our programmes, primarily in low-resource countries and regions in Africa and Asia where the realisation of the human rights to water and sanitation for women and girls are most at risk. Currently, our focus countries are: Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Help and contribute to solutions for the water crisis.