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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, sanitation 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 wash their hands with soap after using the toilet.

WaterAid/ Anna Kari

primary schools worldwide does not have handwashing facilities.

WaterAid/ Jerry Galea

countries with confirmed cases so far.

John Hopkins corona virus resource
John Hopkins corona virus resource

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. 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.

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