Water and Comprehensive Sanitation Project in Rural Areas (ASIR – SABA), Phase III

Projekt abgeschlossen
Corinto, Cauca 2021 © Tania García

The ASIR-SABA Project aims to contribute to the sustainable management and governance of water and sanitation, as well as public health, as a contribution to the consolidation of peace in rural areas of the country. To achieve its objective, the project promotes dialogue between the different actors of the WASH sector in Colombia. It also aims to strengthen the capacities at the community and institutional level (national, departmental and municipal) for the co-management of water and sanitation in rural areas of the country.

Based on the achievements capitalized by the project in its first and second phases and the challenges and opportunities identified with the different governmental actors of the WASH sector in Colombia, the SDC implements the third and final phase of the ASIR-SABA project.

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Politik des öffentlichen Sektors
Zwangsvertreibung (Flüchtlinge, Binnenvertriebene, Menschenhandel)
01.06.2020 - 30.06.2023
CHF  1’615’000

The municipalities prioritized by the project´s Phase III have historically been affected by the armed conflict1, and despite the signing of the Peace Agreement in 2016, it has been reconfigured, and the territorial presence of the different illegal armed actors as well. These municipalities are mainly linked to illicit economies (drug trafficking and mining), with consequences, as in Tumaco, where in mid-January 2020, more than 3,300 people have been displaced due to the escalation of the armed conflict and clashes between illegal groups, and in Cauca, where the increase in social leaders has sharpened and the number of confined people has increased. 

Likewise, the coverage of water and sanitation in the targeted municipalities that part of the PDETs, according to figures from the Ministry of Housing, City and Territory (2020), is lower than the national averages, being below 30% and 10% respectively, added to challenges in terms of the quality of the water supplied and low levels of wastewater treatment. 

In addition to the above, the migratory flows that mainly impact the departments of La Guajira, Nariño (Tumaco) and Norte de Santander, have highlighted the need to strengthen the national, departmental and local mechanisms of attention to the migrant population and the challenges in guarantees of rights, including access to water, in various areas of the country.

Within the most recent context, regarding COVID-19, the first case was presented in Colombia on March 6, 2020, for which the Government established a state of emergency throughout the national territory. This situation has posed greater challenges for the communities in which the ASIR-SABA project is located, for which they will deploy specific actions to mitigate effects and prevent its spread, this, in alliance with the housing sector, city and territory and health at the head of your ministries.


1 They are categorized as Zones Most Affected by the Armed Conflict (ZOMAC in spanish) and therefore are part of the strategy for the implementation of the Peace Agreement through the formulation and implementation of Development Plans with a Territorial Approach (PDET in spanish).


Ziele Contribute to the sustainable management and governance of water and sanitation to accompaniment the consolidation of peace / building in rural areas in Colombia.

Directly: 17,959 people in municipalities in the departments of La Guajira, Norte de Santander, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Nariño and Putumayo; of which 5.015 will be beneficiaries of investments in studies and design of infrastructure and 17.959 in strengthening processes of capabilities.

Indirectly: 489.871 beneficiaries from the 6 departments to intervene, equivalent to 44% of the total population of those intervention zones (1.072.819 inhabitants).

Mittelfristige Wirkungen

1. Influence public policy actions at the national, departmental or local level in the water and sanitation sector and related sectors.

2. Contribute to the sustainable management of rural W&S systems.

3. Contribute to mitigate the COVID-19 impact in rural areas, and promote preventive actions in response to similar events, where water and sanitation management becomes a determining factor.


Erwartete Resultate:  

  • Advocacy strategies in the public sector, for the mainstreaming of the gender approach and peace building in the water and sanitation processes.
  • Guiding documents for the implementation of public policy on water and sanitation for rural areas, published and shared with local public institutions and rural communities.
  • 3 diploma courses in sustainable water and sanitation management in rural areas implemented in 3 municipalities.
  • 7 MTAO created in Phase I and II (Santander de Quilichao, Caloto, Trujillo, Buga, Buenaventura, Tumaco and Corinto) strengthened to be sustainable and 3 documents with a proposal for a Technical Assistance strategy for the new territories (Teorama, Riohacha, Cajibío).
  • 7 communities with diagnostic information on water and sanitation reported in SIASAR.
  • 8 studies and designs for water or sanitation systems in rural areas, applying to the guidelines issued by the MVCT.
  • 8 insurance plans for the water and sanitation systems formulated, and 29 implemented.
  • 11 communities strengthened in adequate and sustainable monitoring and surveillance of water quality counting with equipment (monitoring kits).
  • 3 community aqueducts count with equipment to produce the chlorine to disinfect water and 14 rural schools functioning as environmental classrooms for monitoring water quality and are strengthened in adequate hand washing (Post-COVID).

Resultate von früheren Phasen:  

The project has had two (2) previous phases, developed between the years 2014 - 2018 (Phase I) and 2018 - 2020 (Phase II), of which the following results were capitalized:

  • Compilation of information on the conditions of access to water and sanitation in rural areas using the Information System on Water and Sanitation for Rural Areas (SIASAR in Spanish).
  • Six (6) technical, institutional and water quality diagnoses were carried out in the rural areas of the municipalities of Gámeza in Boyacá, Corinto, Caloto and Santander de Quilichao in Cauca and Buga and Trujillo in Valle del Cauca. Available at: https://asirsaba.com.co/en/documentos/
  • 10 studies and designs of water supply systems were carried out in rural areas of Tumaco and La Guajira.
  • Advice to the municipalities of Buenaventura, Corinto, Tumaco and departments of Boyacá and Antioquia in the scheme of the Municipal Technical Assistance Office.
  • The diploma in sustainable management of water and sanitation in rural areas was implemented, with the participation of 72 people.
  • Community capacities for the sustainable management of 59 water and sanitation systems were strengthened in legal, commercial, financial, administrative and ICT issues, among others, and health education strategies were implemented in 2 municipalities.
  • The booklet for the systematization of the capacity-building process of community organizations that manage water and sanitation in rural areas of the departments of Antioquia and Boyacá, “Gota de Agua”, was prepared. Available at: https://asirsaba.com.co/en/herramientas/
  • The Disaster Risk Management Plan was prepared for the provision of water and sanitation services in areas associated with rural aqueducts in the municipality of Gámeza - Boyacá, and the Emergency and Contingency Plans for six (6) community aqueducts.
  • Impact indicators and a toolbox were built on territorial development, peace building and social inclusion with a gender perspective and an intersectoral approach for water and sanitation processes. Available at: https://asirsaba.com.co/en/bateriadeindicadores/ 

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Kreditbereich Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Humanitäre Hilfe
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
Internationale oder ausländische NGO
  • Schweizerisches Arbeiterhilfswerk

Andere Partner

The third phase of the project guarantees a national and regional team (North and Pacific area coordinators) working on behalf of the Swiss Embassy in Colombia.

Likewise, to guarantee the operation and implementation of strategic components of the project at the regional level, the intervention zones were segmented by Zones; North (La Guajira, Norte de Santander and Putumayo) and Pacific (Nariño, Cauca and Valle del Cauca). Each zone will have an implementing partner, which is in the process of being defined.

Koordination mit anderen Projekten und Akteuren Ministries of Housing, City and Territory and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Territory Renewal Agency, Foreign Ministry, Commission for the Regulation of Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation, National Irrigation Management Unit, Departmental Water Plans, Municipal Mayors, environmental corporations, UNICEF, IDB, private sector, among others.
Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    1’615’000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    1’386’968

Phase 3 01.06.2020 - 30.06.2023   (Completed)

Phase 2 06.02.2018 - 30.03.2021   (Completed) Phase 1 01.12.2014 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)