We are only as strong as our weakest health system

As COVID-19 spreads, more than half of health centers in developing countries do not have running water.

Clean water and soap helps keep health workers safe. Protecting health workers  protects us all.

You can save lives now.

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This single bar of soap serves a busy maternity ward

We can solve this crisis

WaterAid/ Jenny Lewis

Health workers from around the world

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Eric, Rwanda

"We use all our energy to keep the health center clean.”

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Patricia, Malawi

"A dirty hospital can be a disease breeding ground."

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Tigalana, Uganda

"We do not have water in the labor ward and the sanitation facilities are not in a good state. Mothers had nowhere to bathe."

Keles, Nigeria

Keles, Nigeria

"When we don't have water we have to wait for the water-carrier to collect it. It delays our work seriously."

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Solomon, Malawi

"The lack of clean water and toilets is posing a huge danger to expectant mothers and their unborn children. When they stay home to give birth, they can have serious complications."

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Onamika, Bangladesh

"As a medical professional, I understand the need to wash my hands before and after checking each patient, but I am unable to do so because we don't have water."

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Jamie, Savannah, US

"I cannot imagine doing my job without clean water. If we did not have clean water to bathe them in, the infection risk would skyrocket."

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Yeartree, Liberia

"Water is important. Without water, I can't do my work and the clinic can't run, the toilets will not be clean, nurses cannot treat the patients."

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Dr Bakoarivony, Madagascar

"The water from the tap in the health center has grass in it and it is yellow. You can see that there are deposits at the bottom."

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Triunesh, Ethiopia

"My job is to fetch the water. There is no water source at the health center. I fetch two jerrycans a day."

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Dr Mech, Cambodia

"We felt so ashamed of ourselves and for the patients; it was so dirty around. Water is everything, and it is so important for good hygiene."

healthcare portraits | WaterAid

Kabula, Tanzania

"Keeping the hospital clean is a nightmare. Expectant mothers were required to provide two buckets 10 gallons of their own water for use during the delivery process. The maternity room and bedsheets were never cleaned on time."

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 normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. Since March 2020 we have scaled up our work in 30+ countries to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. This rapid-response work, building on our strong track record in providing critical water infrastructure, is how people can change their lives for good. 

Learn more about our COVID-19 response.

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.

More about the crisis

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.

More about our approach

Our impact

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.

Read more about our impact

Clean water and soap are simple measures that work. Please be part of the solution. 

Donate now

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    Thank you for joining us, together we will solve the water crisis!

    WaterAid graphic

    WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala

    Decent toilets

    433,000 in households

    182,000 in schools

    1,080,000 in healthcare centers

    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. 

    Real-time monitoring

    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.

    Clean water

    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.

    Decent toilets

    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

    Good hygiene and handwashing is one of the most effective ways of improving global health. That's why we have always supported hygiene education.

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