Poverty isn't just a lack of money. It's a lack of everything. Education, food, health, equal rights, jobs, clean water and decent toilets. All of these are basic human rights that are denied to millions of people all over the world.

In 2015, 193 countries belonging to the United Nations promised to end extreme poverty by 2030 by focusing on . is all about ending the global water crisis, and reaching everyone with clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Without those essentials, none of the other goals can be achieved.

 

The water effect

Clean water doesn’t just save lives. It empowers women and girls, it gives children an education, it improves healthcare and helps business to thrive. Communities that are more productive and resilient because of these things can rise out of poverty.

Matta playing with clean water from the pump in Tombohuaun, Sierra Leone. WaterAid/Joey Lawrence

WaterAid and the Sustainable Development Goals

Since 1981, WaterAid has reached over 25 million people all over the world with clean water and decent toilets. But the scale of the global water crisis is simply too big for one charity. 

844 million people still don’t have clean water close to home, and 2.3 billion don’t have a decent toilet.

We need the political will and force of Governments to tackle the crisis, which is why we campaigned (successfully!) for the United Nations to adopt Goal 6. In order to achieve the 2030 deadline, we're working with Governments at all levels to develop plans and policies that will enable them to reach everyone with water and sanitation.

Hygiene in Nepal

We’re working with the Nepalese Government to reach thousands of mums and babies with hygiene behaviour sessions at immunisation clinics.

A child being immunised after the hygiene session in Nawalparasi, Nepal WaterAid/Mani Karmacharya

UK Aid in Sierra Leone

We worked with the UK Government to raise millions of pounds in the Untapped campaign and reach communities like Tombohuaun with clean water and decent toilets.

Morie, centre left, plays a drum with Matu, 40, centre right singing and dancing as they and other members of the community welcome the WaterAid team to the village of Tombohuaun, Sierra Leone. WaterAid/Joey Lawrence

Zambia and cholera

We've teamed up with the Zambian Government to respond to the cholera crisis through hygiene promotion in some of the worst affected areas.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros with WaterAid delegation WaterAid

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Become an expert

You know what the SDGs are. Now learn just how important Goal 6 is to ending extreme poverty.

Read the strategy

How can we reach everyone everywhere with clean water and decent toilets?