Kingdom of eSwatini
Capital:
Mbabane
Population:
1.3 million
Area:
17,364
km2

Surrounded on three sides by South Africa and bordering Mozambique to the east, the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) is a small country with a population of around 1.3 million people. In its mountains, valleys, savannah and jungle, four distinct climates shape people’s lives.

Almost one in three people do not have clean water and two in five have nowhere to go to the toilet. This situation has a big impact on health and contributes to an average national life expectancy of just 49 years.

The Kingdom of eSwatini also has the world's highest proportion of people living with HIV/AIDS – almost a third of the population. They are extremely vulnerable to diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of toilets and hygiene, and need clean water for medication to be effective.

people don't have clean water.

That's 417,000 people in total.

people don't have a decent toilet.

That's 2 in every 5 people in the country.

children under 5 die a year from diarrhoea.

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

What does WaterAid do in the Kingdom of eSwatini?

In collaboration with a local partner called Nazarene Compassionate Services, we’re helping rural communities to protect themselves from the effects of climate change – especially drought.

We collaborate with local communities to build and run water kiosks and their own toilets, with training and building materials. We’re also working with the government to make sure there are national guidelines in place for supplying rural water. All of these things will ensure that the systems created are sustainable, long after our project has ended, so that everyone in the country will have access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

A decent toilet at school, a world of opportunity

WaterAid/Nyani Quarmyne/ Panos

Lindiwe is the head teacher at a high school in the Lubombo Province, where she’s worked since 2014. When she first started, she noticed lots of girls were often missing school because they didn’t have the right things to manage their periods with. What’s more, there were no decent toilets or clean water, which made the students sick with diarrhoea. Lacking things as basic as taps and toilets were limiting the education, hopes and life chances of the students of Lindiwe's school.

WaterAid supported local partner Nazarene Compassionate Services to build a new block of latrines at Lindiwe’s school, complete with taps and a room specially for girls to manage their periods (known as a menstrual hygiene management room).

“The pipe and toilets helped because now the students know they must wash their hands after using the toilet, so health wise it's educational. Cases of diarrhoea have also reduced.”

Far reaching effects

With better health and more time in education, some of the girls from Lindiwe's school have gone on to college. It’s shown the other students that high school isn't the end of childhood - there's a chance for further education and hope for a better future.

WaterAid/Nyani Quarmyne/Panos

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