We're the handwashing experts
We know that handwashing is the first line of defense against illness. But millions of people lack access to the essentials to stay healthy: Clean water and soap.
In fact, one in six healthcare facilities worldwide have no handwashing facilities at all. This is unacceptable.
We can and should do better to prevent loss of life.
The solution is simple. When communities, schools and hospitals have access to soap and clean water we can dramatically reduce the spread of infections. This saves lives. Washing with soap cuts sick days in half and teaches lifelong healthy habits.
We’ve been working to provide and advocate for clean water, sanitation and hygiene around the world for four decades. Last year, with your support, we reached nearly one million people worldwide at least three times with hygiene training. This is lasting behavior change, at scale.
Please make an immediate donation to support our work. Your gift will help us reach people in more than 30 countries, including areas affected by Coronavirus.
of people globally can wash their hands with soap after using the toilet.
primary schools worldwide do not have handwashing facilities.
countries with confirmed cases so far.
Who we are
WaterAid started in 1981 because no non-profit like us existed. We are determined to make clean water, reliable toilets and good hygiene, handwashing in particular, normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. Only by tackling these 3 essentials, in ways that last, can people change their lives for good.
Since 1981, we have empowered:
- 26.4 million people with clean water
- 26.3 million people with reliable toilets
- and we're only just getting started!
The water crisis
Diarrhea caused by dirty water and poor toilets kills almost 800 children a day. A lack of clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene keeps kids out of school, adults out of work and traps people in poverty.
How we do it
We tackle the issue from all angles. We work with local partners to deliver clean water and decent toilets, and promote good hygiene, and campaign to change normal for everyone, everywhere.
Together we can unlock people’s potential with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. Without all three, people can’t live dignified, healthy lives. With all three, they can unlock their potential, break free from poverty, and change their lives for good.
With clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, children are born healthier. They get the chance to go to school, and grow up to become adults. Women and men get to earn a living. Whole communities start to thrive. It sounds normal and it should be.
In a world with so many competing priorities, WaterAid remains resolutely focused on tackling these three essentials because they transform people’s lives for good.
How do we calculate these numbers?
The figures above refer to the people we directly reach through services delivered together with our partners. They only show part of our impact – to make lasting change happen on a massive scale, we also:
- convince governments to change laws;
- link policy makers with people on the ground;
- change attitudes and behaviors;
- pool knowledge and resources; and
- rally support from people and organizations around the world.
Through this work we benefit many more people than those shown above.
The numbers for households and schools are the people who use these services every day. The numbers for healthcare facilities are the population each facility exists to serve, adjusted to reflect the scale of alternative/private provision.
This total is the number of people reached either through water, sanitation and hygiene facilities or sustained promotion of good hygiene. Hygiene promotion numbers are estimates of people reached with hygiene promotion messages at least three times in a year through local marketing campaigns in communities, in schools and via local health services.
The work doesn't end when the water project is complete. We have a vast network of community leaders, engineers and WaterAid staff who monitor our projects. Since 2012, we have worked with MWater, a data management platform, to monitor the functionality of our water points, to ensure as many of them as possible continue to serve the community.
1 in 9 people don't have clean water. We work together with communities to find the best and most lasting solutions to unlock their potential and break free from poverty.
1 in 3 people don't have a reliable toilet of their own. We're working with communities to build a local workforce that can install and maintain toilets.
Good hygiene promotion is one of the most effective ways of improving global health. That's why we support hygiene education across all of our projects.