Water for life

Water for Life is a project initiated and maintained by the Norwegian Red Cross. The goal of the project is to gather money to finance different water projects across the world.

In Norway, water is an abundant resource and accessing it only requires a minimum of action. This is not however, a universal reality. The time and effort that many women and children spend on collecting water – which is often contaminated - put them in a particularly vulnerable situation as they are being deprived from education opportunities or access to the work market. Water contamination and scarcity can thus lead to a perpetual circle of poverty and health problems.

Today, approximately 700 million people lack access to clean water. This causes more than 6000 deaths every single day, and children are the most vulnerable group.

Water for Life aims to improve people’s access to clean water by drilling wells, building latrines as well as increased focus on hygiene education.

Our programs aim to:

  • Improve people’s health
  • Prevent spreading of deceases
  • Improve food security
  • Improve educational opportunities for children

Red Cross provides hygiene education, improves sanitary conditions and establishes local water control entities which ensure access to clean water.

While having the potential to supply the entire world population, the fresh water reserves of the world only sufficiently benefits a fraction of it. The challenge is thus to ensure that people can access safe, clean and local water resources. In places where water scarcity is severe due to geographical, technical, climatic or societal challenges, there is a high demand for special resources and expertise.





– Oktan is one of Scandinavia’s largest ad agencies and one of the initiators behind the Water for Life project. They help with the project’s marketing strategy and project management.


GK Gruppen

– GK Gruppen is a leading full technical contractor and service partner, and supports Water for Life. They have previously funded the building of a pre-school in Lesotho, which was finished in 2006.



– Frognerseteren Restaurant joined the Water for Life project in May, 2009. They started to start charge five kroner per glass of water in their café Seterstua, and to match that income with a similar amount which is donated to the project.



– E-CO Energy, Norway’s second largest hydropower producer, truly understand the value of water and their support to the Water for Life projects is thus a natural part of their corporate social responsibility. E-CO has been a partner of the Norwegian Red Cross since 2013, and in 2017 they signed their second three-year partnership agreement with the Red Cross to continue to support Water for Life, focusing on the projects in Burundi.



The Norwegian company TESS is proud to support Norwegian Red Cross international project; Water for Life.  A part of the cooperation includes that TESS has developed and produced a tailored water pump for drinking water supply for use  in Burundi.

The pump is based on old principles used in an innovative way, which complies with all specifications given by Red Cross and even exceeds the expectations. It  does not require any  added energy than the surrounding flowing water; no fuels and no electricity!

Components is selected from stainless steel and materials intended for use with drinking water .

“TESS Hydram Pumps” are water-powered, and use a large flow at low pressure to pump a smaller flow at high pressure. They are fluidic pumps, working by water pressure and momentum.

Their only moving parts are two valves, which means a very reliable functionality and safe water supply. TESS are ready to support Red Cross in future water supply  projects, for both drinking water and irrigation worldwide. It feels great to be a part of such an important project as “Water For Life” , expressed by Mr. Jan Dyre-Hansen, Innovation and Technology Director of TESS. 


Wikholm AS

– Working With landscaping and gardening, Wikholm operates mainly in the Bergen area and supllies Wood care, lawn trim, playgrounds, road safety and landscaping of outdoor areas. Wikholm AS is a partner for Water for Life from 2017. Water is central to the planning, construction and maintenance of outdoor areas and green areas, which are important tasks for a landscaper. Through supporting Water for Life, Wikholm helps more people from outside Norway gain access to clean water through well drilling, water source protection, latrine construction and hygiene training.



The Norwegian Red Cross helps to strengthen local communities’ abilities to face humanitarian challenges in a long term perspective. We place special emphasis on community-based health education, disease prevention, and water and sanitation programs. To achieve the desired health benefits, our program consists of different activities that together complement each other:

  • Drilling and digging new wells, securing source origins, building natural filters of gravel and sand and develop collection systems for rainwater.
  • Build latrines and establish simple garbage handling.
  • Strengthen the community’s capacity to manage water and sanitation infrastructure by creating water committees and training Red Cross volunteers.
  • Increase public awareness about health and hygiene through awareness campaigns and training, and through these measures prevent the spread of diarrhea, cholera and other waterborne diseases.

The measures used to ensure access to clean water vary according to, amongst other things, level of infrastructure and the geographical and climatic conditions of the different regions. Water and sanitation programs also serve to strengthen communities’ ability to adapt to prolonged droughts and thereby improve people’s food security. It is particularly important to improve conditions for the most vulnerable groups in society, such as orphans and vulnerable children in particular. This holistic approach can help communities to a brighter, self-reliant future.


Projects in Burundi

Burundi ranks 180th of 187 countries on UN Development Programme’s human development index. The humanitarian situation has deteriorated in 2015 and 2016, in a country where 81.3% of the population live below the poverty line. The health system is weak, and mortality and morbidity levels are high. Burundi Red Cross works to increase access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services and facilites and reduce excess morbidity and mortality among vulnerable people affected by conflict and/or epidemic outbreaks.


Projects in Pakistan

The Norwegian Red Cross’ support to Pakistan Red Crescent in Sindh province started in the aftermath of the flood response in 2010 where the support started a community resilience building project in the Jacobabad District. The support has later been extended to 8 districts in Pakistan benefiting 260,200 of the most vulnerable people. A special focus of the program is improving the living quality and health of rural poor through water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion.


Projects in Lebanon

The Lebanese Red Cross is providing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services to Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities with the primary purpose of satisfying vital needs, dignity and prevent public health risks. Lebanese Red Cross has worked in WASH since 2014, mainly covering gaps in areas where other organizations are not present or unable to access. With support from the Norwegian Red Cross and the Norwegian MFA, Lebanese Red Cross started working in Hygiene Promotion (HP) in 2015 and reaches an average of 2000 Syrian refugees every month with hygiene promotion and distribution of hygiene kits. A clear change in the hygienically behaviour of the refugees can be noticed as the project develops as a result of increased community awareness.


Projects in Nepal

In Nepal close to 42 percent of the country’s 27 million people live below the poverty line. Only 27 percent of the population has access to sanitation facilities, and although 80 percent have access to potable water it is not clean. Those who live in poor and remote area has limited or no access to clean drinking water. Many must walk for hours to fetch water in rivers or other open water sources. Nepal Red Cross, with support from the Norwegian Red Cross, has been working with the aim of better hygiene and sanitation facilities for people in four districts (Nawalparasi District, Rupendehi, Syangja District and Kavre) in the country.




Access to clean water and good sanitary conditions are prerequisites for good health. The Red Cross thus works continuously to secure future income sources to finance water- and sanitary projects which are important elements in building resilient societies.

In a cooperative effort with our partners, we contribute to:

  • Improved health
  • Disease prevention
  • Improved food security
  • Education opportunities for children

If you would like more information or if you wish to schedule a meeting to discuss Water for Life, please contact us,

Klaus Adde

Telephone: +47 911 58 973

E-mail: klaus.adde@oktan.no

Ann Christin Håland

Telephone: +47 950 24 233

E-mail: ann.haland@redcross.no