1. Water, toilets and hygiene save lives
Extreme poverty cannot end until clean water, toilets and hygiene are a normal part of daily life for everyone, everywhere. Yet 2.2 billion people live without clean water close to home, and 3.6 billion don't have a decent toilet.
Women in particular waste precious time walking long distances to collect dirty water. Girls drop out of school because they miss so many lessons collecting water and then, when they hit puberty, have to miss more school because there are no private toilets to manage their periods. And approximately 310,000 children per year do not live to see their fifth birthday because of diarrheal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.
We may be called WaterAid, but our focus is resolutely on all three essentials: clean water, improved sanitation and proper hygiene.
2. There's no 'one-size-fits-all' solution
There is no blanket solution to helping people get clean water and toilets. A rural community suffering from drought and poor infrastructure will face very different obstacles to an urban community vulnerable to flooding.
That’s why we tap into groundwater, drill wells and harvest rainwater to bring clean water to where people live, work and go to school – whether that's in a rural community or an urban dwelling.
3. Toilets and hygiene save lives
Globally, one in four people don’t have a decent toilet. People often have no choice but to go outside – increasing the risk of the spread of deadly diseases such as diarrhea.
But politicians rarely want to talk about where people do their business, let alone spend money on toilets. And with such limited funding, not enough is spent on educating people about the importance of using them.
When we install decent toilets we also promote good hygiene – helping people stay clean and healthy. We show governments the difference this makes to whole communities: children don’t miss school with stomach ache or die from diarrhea and girls can manage their periods privately and safely.
4. Together, we can transform lives
We make a bigger impact because we bring people together, actively encouraging collaboration so that many voices can be heard and ideas can spread. Together we achieve so much more.
We work together with partners to assess the local situation, before designing and delivering relevant, practical solutions based on our shared experience and evidence.
And to make lasting change happen on a massive scale we:
Convince governments to change laws
Link policy makers with people on the ground
Change attitudes and behaviors
Pool knowledge and resources
Rally support from people and organizations around the world
Use a Build-Train-Scale model to scale up water project work at a faster rate and use it as a test-case for neighboring regions.
This is not glamorous work, but it is effective. If you also believe in long-term solutions, please consider supporting our work.