1. Water, toilets and hygiene are a human right
Extreme poverty cannot end until clean water, toilets and hygiene are a normal part of daily life for everyone, everywhere. Yet 785 million people live without clean water close to home, and 2 billion don't have a decent toilet of their own. And climate change is making the situation worse.
Women in particular waste precious time walking long distances to collect dirty water. Girls drop out of school because there are no private toilets to manage their periods. And approximately 289,000 children per year do not live to see their fifth birthday because of diarrhoeal 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.
Natural water sources like rivers can be filthy – full of waste and parasites that spread diseases like cholera. They can dry up too, so moving whole communities closer to dirty, unreliable sources of water isn’t the answer.
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.
Discover more about the technology we use to change lives
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 diarrhoea.
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 diarrhoea and girls can manage their periods privately and safely.
4. Together, we can help 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 behaviours
Pool knowledge and resources
Rally support from people and organisations around the world
Ready to make a difference? Donate and help change someone's life.
Join an event, fundraise with friends or find your own way to transform lives.
Facts and statistics
Get up to date on the facts and statistics behind access to water and sanitation.