When we flush our loos, we do so safe in the knowledge that our waste is being piped far away, never to be seen again. But in unplanned neighbourhoods like Temeke in Tanzania, toilet pits need to be emptied manually and taken away – messy, tough and not very safe work. The Gulper is a pump that makes this whole process easier.
Voices from the Field
We’re big believers in the power of film and photos to highlight people's voices in the countries where we work. That’s why we started the Voices from the Field programme. We employ talented local people like Mani from Nepal (above) to gather photos, film and stories from the communities we support – so you can see the difference your donations are making.
What does the future of taps and toilets look like? This interactive data visualisation, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, lets you explore access to safe water and sanitation from almost every country in the world, starting from 1990 and projecting right up to 2030. See the extraordinary progress that has been made – and the big task ahead of us.
Innovation is all about designing a better future, which the next generation will inherit. Challenge: Water is a way for secondary school pupils to innovate, and put their creativity to work. Students are set the challenge of designing an innovative new water-saving product, and developing a campaign to change attitudes to water usage in their communities.
Data for good
© WaterAid/ Petri Autio
Imagine using Google Maps to find a post office, only to discover it closed years ago. A pain, right? To make sure everyone everywhere has access to taps and toilets at all times, we need a reliable map that tells us what's working, where. That's where mWater comes in: a simple, free mobile app that lets anyone update the status of taps and toilets near them.
In many countries where we work, periods are a taboo subject. So how do you go from whispering about them to shouting so loud everyone can hear you? WaterAid Bangladesh found an answer: TV. With adolescent health network Shorno Kishoree, they used games and interactive discussions to challenge the stigma, and broadcast them on Bangladesh's only terrestrial TV channel, potentially reaching 80% of the population.
From independent fabric-makers like Vida (pictured) to waste management crews, we empower entrepreneurs to tackle water problems through training and microfinance programmes, leading to smart, sustainable solutions.
Plumbing vs. gangs
In Bilwi, Nicaragua, we offer young people like Ron, Wesley and Lucy (above) an alternative to gangs and crime: training to become fully-fledged plumbers. In tandem with technical training, the students learn to run their own plumbing businesses, allowing them to have a real impact on their community.