Sign Up for Updates

   Info and options

Core Program Areas

Agriculture Education Emergencies Health HIV and AIDS Microfinance Peacebuilding Water and Sanitation

Cross-Cutting Areas

Capacity Strengthening Climate Change ICT4D IHD Monitoring and Evaluation Youth

Project Highlights

A representative sample from our water and sanitation projects worldwide.


CRS has provided its diocesan partners in Ethiopia with three drilling rigs since 1984, and we are awaiting delivery of a fourth. We’ve used these rigs to drill 372 boreholes serving over one million people. In addition, CRS is the leading promoter of sanitation infrastructure in Ethiopia, having supported our partners in the construction of over 36,000 “Arbor Loo” latrines and numerous “Fossa Alterna” latrines in the past three years.

Bringing water to the people of Ethiopia is a CRS priority. Over the next four years, 2009 through 2012, CRS plans to invest $5.5 million to bring water to nearly 1 million people, increasing the capacity of the Church and other local partners to meet the water needs of Ethiopia.


In drought-prone Rajasthan, with CRS training and support, local partners have mobilized communities to “harvest” rainwater through the construction of traditional stone embankments, ponds, contour trenches, check dams, groundwater recharge pits, and underground storage tanks. The resulting increase in water security improves community water management, empowers women, and makes people’s livelihoods more sustainable.

In post-tsunami India, CRS has worked with local partners to improve community toilets through an innovative wastewater treatment system. As communities rebuild, their access to good hygiene and sanitation infrastructure is vital to their family and community health.

Central America

CRS is the lead agency in the development of 19 micro-watersheds in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua under the Global Water Initiative. The program will work with Caritas and local partners to rehabilitate and construct potable water, irrigation and basic sanitation facilities for more than 19,000 people in 82 communities.

As a member of the Millennium Water Alliance, CRS is implementing programs such as the Schools Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Community Impact (SWASH+) Program in Central America. The program focuses on water supply, sanitation, and hygiene in schools, with the following main objectives:

  • Increase access to sustainable safe water in directly targeted schools and communities
  • Improve hygiene behaviors, particularly hand washing, in students and teachers at directly targeted schools and communities
  • Increase access to improved sanitation facilities at directly targeted schools and increase demand for sanitation in the communities where schools are located.


Since 2001, CRS and our partners have constructed or rehabilitated 500 shallow hand-dug wells fitted with locally-made foot-powered (treadle) pumps that lift water to irrigate home gardens.

CRS also provides seeds, tools, pumps, and technical assistance to support the program.

Sub-Saharan Africa

As a member of the Millennium Water Alliance, CRS is working with nine other NGOs to bring safe water and basic sanitation to communities in Kenya and Ethiopia. New initiatives are being considered that will expand MWA programs to Liberia, Burundi, and Malawi.