Supporting communities to access clean water and safe toilets is a vital step towards transforming lives – but without good hygiene practices, it can't guarantee a brighter future.

In many of the communities where we work, scarcity of water means it must be saved for the essentials of cooking and drinking; using it to wash clothes or clean dishes isn't an option. That's why, for us, promoting hygiene is such a critical part of what we do.

It means we can empower communities to take control of their hygiene, from washing food before eating to handwashing with soap and supporting girls and women to look after their menstrual health.

In turn, that not only means staying safe from diseases (research shows that handwashing alone could cut the risk of diarrhoea almost in half, saving hundreds of lives every day) but it also means communities can enjoy the full benefits of having clean water and safe toilets for the first time.

A day in the life of a hygiene promoter

Our hygiene promoters are dedicated to training communities in good hygiene practices, so they can spread the word with their neighbours and peers. Here, Aurel explains why changing attitudes and behaviour is a key part of the process.


A new approach to eye care

We meet the teacher helping to combat the growing problem of eye infections caused by poor hygiene at his school.

Midwife Otayte with her medical equipment.

Keeping new babies healthy

Midwife Otayte Kawata explains the difference new waterpoints have made to mums in her community in Ethiopia.

Regis smiles for the camera

Staying healthy with HIV

Regis explains how access to clean water and better hygiene practices has transformed her experience of living with HIV.

WaterAid Nigeria's Communications and Campaigns Manager, Oluseyi, and Faith, 28.

WASH on the airwaves

WaterAid Nigeria have been spreading the word about good hygiene practices through an innovative radio drama, Make e flow.

A handwashing demonstration  for Global Handwashing Day 2014

Global Handwashing Day

Find out what we did to spread the word about good hygiene for Global Handwashing Day 2014.