Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

Children wash their soapy hands.
Daniel Burgui
Action Against Hunger, Philippines

Dirty Water & Poor Hygiene Fuel Malnutrition

We can’t fight hunger without tackling the waterborne diseases that contribute to it. Every day, more than 700 children die from illnesses caused by dirty water and unhygienic living conditions.

Without clean water, illnesses like diarrhea, parasites, and chronic intestinal inflammation are common. They can prevent children from absorbing key nutrients and make them more susceptible to malnutrition and other health issues.

01. 02. 03.

In Short Supply: Clean Water

Conflict and climate change contribute to the scarcity of clean water in many parts of the world. Droughts are becoming more frequent and severe. Flooding destroys and contaminates water sources. War and insecurity make it more difficult for farmers to get to their fields and for food to reach markets.

The women of the community located in Ltungai leave a few minutes to fill the 15-litre containers with water in a hole where the water is stagnant, between two rocks. The water is not drinkable, full of bacteria.
844M

People Lack Access to Clean Water

2.3M

People Cannot Access Safe Sanitation

80%

Of Families Make Women and Girls Responsible for Fetching All Water

In Hudur, Somalia, women collect water at a well rehabilitated by Action Against Hunger.

When clean water and safe sanitation is guaranteed, communities are healthier, better nourished, and more resilient.

In Hudur, Somalia, women collect water at a well rehabilitated by Action Against Hunger.
A boy splashes water on his face at a tap installed by Action Against Hunger.
Action Against Hunger staff host a hygiene education session for displaced families in Nigeria.

What We Do

Promote Hygiene to Prevent Disease

To prevent disease outbreaks, our teams distribute hygiene kits and build latrines and handwashing stations in communities, schools, and health centers. We install water filters and teach healthy practices like handwashing, cooking with clean utensils, and drawing water from safe sources – even in the hardest-to-reach places like Paguir, South Sudan.

Expand Access to Clean Water

Where water is scarce or unsafe, we drill new wells and decontaminate unsafe ones, install hand-pumps, protect natural springs, tap aquifers, rehabilitate damaged infrastructure, and pipe water into hard-to-reach villages and health centers. We also introduce innovative solutions, such as solar-powered irrigation systems. In emergencies, we truck water into communities and install storage tanks and reservoirs.

Develop Lasting Solutions

Partnering with community members is necessary for sustainable change. We train water committees, made up of elected community members, to independently manage water and sanitation infrastructure. We also organize local health teams to model good sanitation and hygiene practices for their communities long after a new well is built.

Washing Hands for Health

To stop outbreaks of diseases like cholera, handwashing and good hygiene are key. Simone, a girl in Hamsuit, Ethiopia – where Action Against Hunger is improving access to clean water, safe sanitation, and good hygiene – explains how it’s done.

A community session on hygiene in Haiti.
Christophe Da Silva
Action Against Hunger, Haiti
Hassan Mamman and the other men in his fathers’ group raise their hands and recite a pledge, committing to healthy hygiene, safe sanitation, and good nutrition in their community.
One year old Atong suffered from pneumonia and acute malnutrition. She was admitted at the stabilization center of Malualkon and, after six days in intensive care, she was discharged. Her mother Achoc is now part of Action Against Hunger's WASH (Water, Sanitation And Hygiene) program and has received the tools and training to build a latrine near her home.

Action Against Hunger has been a leader in eradicating cholera in Haiti.

The Final Frontier of Cholera Eradication in Haiti

Our teams work with men's and women's groups to promote healthy hygiene practices. In Nigeria, we're encouraging men to take an active role in promoting "tippy taps": simple handwashing stations used in many rural areas.

Fathers Unite in the Fight Against Malnutrition

When Achoc brought her malnourished daughter to Action Against Hunger for treatment, she left with a healthier child & with information about nutrition, clean water, and good hygiene. It inspired her to make big changes - she even built a latrine for her home.

Stronger Than Adversity: Achoc's Story

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