water being collected in africa

Antohobe, Madagascar – Big Days

663 million people live without clean water.

2.4 billion people don't have access to adequate sanitation, one in three of the world's population.

289,000 children under 5 die each year due to diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s 800 a day, or 1 child every 2 minutes.

The crisis for children

A lack of safe water and toilets can be deadly for children. Babies and young children are the most vulnerable.

In developing countries, each child has an average of ten attacks of diarrhoea before the age of five. 315,000 children under-five die every year as a result of water and sanitation-related diarrhoeal diseases – one every two minutes.

Being a girl

Being a girl The daily task of collecting water dominates the lives of many children, especially girls. The weight of the water container can cause damage to their head, neck and spine, causing health problems later in life.

Getting an education

Having to walk long distances to collect water, and then stand in line for their turn, leaves children with little or no time to go to school, and they often miss out on their education entirely.

Girls that do attend school often drop out when they begin menstruating, due to the lack of decent toilets where they can change their cloths and stay clean. Around 60% of the children currently not enrolled in school worldwide are girls.

Our mission

We want to reach everyone everywhere with clean, safe water. This means we consider the needs of children as well as adults when improving safe water and sanitation services.

We make sure safe water points and toilets are accessible to children and improve facilities in schools so that they can continue learning.

Children are quick to learn and can be effective ambassadors for good hygiene within their families and communities. We promote good hygiene through child-friendly activities such as puppet shows and plays, games and songs, and we help set up school hygiene clubs.

When children have access to clean, safe water and toilets, their health improves, they have more time to go to school, and they get back the freedom to be kids.

Learn more about our work >

young child Zafu collecting water
Six-year-old Zafu on her way to collect water in the village of Abyeto, Tigray, Ethiopia.

Stories from our work

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When people's lives are transformed with safe water and toilets there is always a great story to tell.

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