Improving Water Governance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (WGKP)

Project completed

Water governance and water resource management are a critical development challenge in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KP) since 18% of the KP population (corresponding to 5.4 million people) remain without access to safe drinking water. In line with the National Water Policy framework and capitalizing on SDC’s experience in the sector, the project aims at strengthening provincial water institutions to enhance water policy development and water service delivery to vulnerable communities in KP.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Water sector policy
Water supply
Water sanitation
01.12.2017 - 31.03.2020
CHF 3'500'000

With a poverty index of 49%, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KP) is increase-ingly committed to implement a pro-poor and people centred reform agenda in order to better respond to the demand of basic water and sanitation services. The current institutional set-up and the poor performances of the public services in water and sanitation, however, create a barrier for the Government of KP to fulfil its mandate. The water sector in KP is fragmented with absence of institutional mechanisms to coordinate a comprehensive sector growth. The lack of coordination between stakeholders has led to inefficient water use, wastage of surface water and indiscriminate abstraction of groundwater resources. Access to piped water is only 35%[1] due to poor structure of service delivery institutions. The prevailing situation has further marginalised poor disadvantaged communities in the provision of water as their basic right. Within the backdrop of socio-political instability, the project has been developed in close consultation with the Government of KP to enhance service delivery leading to social resilience, to mitigate any potential conflicts arising from unequal distribution of water resources and to strengthen institutions for sustainable management of water in the province.

[1] Pakistan Social and Livelihood Measurement (PSLM), March 2016; PSLM_2014-15_National-Provincial-District_report.pdf

Objectives To contribute to improved practices of water resource management across different sectors and to a better provision of water, increasing the social resilience of vulnerable communities in Peshawar and Mardan.
Target groups
  • Urban population of Peshawar and Mardan, in particular the most vulnerable communities including Afghan refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP);
  • Line departments of the water sector of the Government of KP and targeted water utilities.
Medium-term outcomes
  1. The Government of KP has strengthened capacities to develop and implement policies for integrated water resources management (IWRM).
  2. Communities in KP sustainably manage their local water resources ensuring inclusive and equitable (water and sanitation) access, especially for the most disadvantaged groups.

Expected results:  

  • By the end of the project, additional 6% of the population of urban centres of Peshawar and Mardan have improved access to water and sanitation;
  • Institutions have developed systems in support of increased civic engagement for sustainable and equitable water service delivery;
  • Institutions have developed integrated master plans to improve water and sanitation services;
  • Institutions have successfully incorporated arrangements for pro-poor and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) response, especially for vulnerable groups.

Results from previous phases:  

The project is part of SDC’s consolidation phase and capitilizes on successful local initiatives at provincial level. These include:

  • Strengthening Water and Sanitation Institutions to increase access to vulnerable communities,  through SDC funding to the World Bank under the Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP);
  • Incorporating lessons of Water User Manage-ment Plans (WUMP) of the Water for Livelihoods (W4L) project  to contribute to Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) policy initiatives e.g. under the Governance and Policy Project of the World Bank;
  • Contributing to knowledge and capacity in the energy and power sector and support IWRM policy develpment through lessons learnt from the micro-hydropower project under the Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP).

The SDC investment in these initiatives amounts to more than CHF 18 million in the last twelve years. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • Sub-National State SouthEast

Other partners
Governance Policy Project GPP
Coordination with other projects and actors USAID’s Municipal Services Project-MSP, World Bank Governance Policy Project (GPP), World Bank Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), UNICEF Water Sector Policy Reforms, Local Governance Support Project LoGo (GIZ), Water for Livelihood (W4L, exit phase).
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   3'500'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'950'067
Project phases

Phase 1 01.12.2017 - 31.03.2020   (Completed)