Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
Every day 1,000 children die from illnesses like diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera caused by dirty water and unhygienic living conditions. We can’t fight malnutrition without tackling the waterborne diseases that contribute to it. As part of our integrated approach to fighting hunger, we bring safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services to communities in need all over the world.
What We Do
Provide Access to Safe Water
During emergencies, we truck water into affected areas and install storage tanks and reservoirs. Where water is scarce or unsafe, we drill and decontaminate wells, install hand-pumps, protect natural springs, tap aquifers, rehabilitate damaged infrastructure, and pipe water into hard-to-reach villages and health centers.
Promote Sanitation & Hygiene
To prevent outbreaks of disease during a crisis, our teams distribute hygiene kits and build latrines and hand-washing stations. In communities at risk, we construct water filters made from basic materials and teach healthy practices like hand-washing, cooking with clean utensils, and drawing water from protected sources.
Ensure Lasting Change
Our commitment to community participation ensures long-term capacity: we train community-based water committees to manage their water and sanitation infrastructure themselves, and organize village health teams to model good sanitation and hygiene practices for their communities long after we leave an area.
- Nearly two billion people worldwide drink unsafe water.
- One billion people lack access to improved sanitation.
- More than five percent of all child deaths can be prevented with safe water and sanitation.
- But there has been tremendous progress. Between 1990 and 2012, 2.3 billion people gained access to an improved drinking water source.
Our impact in Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
In 2013 alone, we provided 3.5 million people around the world with access to safe water and sanitation including:
- 262,204 people in Syria
- 283,390 people in Democratic Republic of Congo
- 189,268 people in South Sudan