Solar-powered water systems
An innovative and long-lasting safe water solution.

Globally, an estimated 785 million people do not have access to basic drinking water. This means they must rely on water sources like rivers or lakes – prone to contamination – or travel more than 30 minutes to collect drinking water.

But solar-powered systems can vastly enhance the quality of water, improving the health, development, safety and livelihoods of children and their families. They are more reliable than other pumping systems, tap deeper groundwater and are significantly less costly in the long term.

Unlike traditional handpumps, solar-powered pumps can be used for water storage and can supply water for multiple purposes, making water available to a larger population.

How do solar-powered water systems work?

A solar-powered water system featuring a tower tank and solar panels in Yemen.

The innovative solar-powered water system uses light energy to pump safe water up from deep below the earth’s surface. The water then flows into a large storage tank which stores enough water to supply entire communities. These systems reduce walking and waiting times, and can make water readily accessible to schools, healthcare facilities and entire communities.

UNICEF is installing solar-powered water systems around the world

Map highlights countries where in 2022, UNICEF installed new solar-powered water systems or rehabilitated water systems to be solar powered. Below each country name is the number of solar-powered water systems installed, or existing water systems rehabilitated to be solar powered in that country: Guinea, 2; Gambia, 10; Nigeria, 175; Democratic Republic of Congo, 212; Angola, 63; Zimbabwe, 78; Madagascar, 15; Kenya, 20; Ethiopia, 24; Sudan, 174; Lebanon, 12; Syrian Arab Republic, 9; Pakistan, 148; Vietnam,15
This map shows examples of countries where in 2022, UNICEF installed new solar-powered water systems, or rehabilitated existing water systems to be solar powered.

UNICEF, with the help of our donors and partners, has been installing solar-powered water systems to bring safe and clean water to children and families around the world. Since 2019, UNICEF has helped install more than 6,100 solar-powered water systems in 52 countries with plans to expand to even more regions.

The newly installed solar-powered water system in Tanzania's Kigoma region aims to provide 200,000 people across more than 30 villages in the region with safe and clean water.