Toilets & clean drinking water

Our charity's "WaSH" programmes

Water and sanitation facilities prevent the spread of diseases like cholera and are critical to improving health and economic prospects. We also believe these are some of the essential aspects of turning a house into a healthy home.

WaSH – Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

Through our programmes, we aim to:

  • Build latrines and water supply systems
  • Dig and cover sewage systems
  • Create waste management systems
  • Educate on basic hygiene

We work holistically and our WaSH programmes help to ensure that the homes we build have safe, decent facilities for a family to stay healthy and be able to live their lives to their fullest.

Tackling poor sanitation worldwide

Over 1 billion people

globally do not have access to improved water supply sources.

“The most affected are the populations in developing countries, living in extreme conditions of poverty, normally peri-urban dwellers or rural inhabitants.” (World Health Organisation, 2013)

2.4 billion people

do not have access to any type of improved sanitation facility.

At Habitat for Humanity, we work with many communities to add clean water supplies and provide sanitary toilets. However, the provision of toilets and water by themselves is often not enough to bring about health changes such as a reduction in diarrhoea; another element is needed.

About 2 million people

die every year due to diarrhoeal diseases, most of them children less than 5 years of age.

Many people look at water and think that if it looks clear, it is safe to drink. This attitude leads to the spread of waterborne diseases, as clear water can still harbour harmful micro-organisms and parasites. Likewise, the provision of toilets without good personal hygiene will not lead to health improvements.

The impact of clean drinking water & sanitation

Improvements in health from clean drinking water, improved sanitation, and WaSH training also link to economic benefits for those living…

Improvements in health from clean drinking water, improved sanitation, and WaSH training also link to economic benefits for those living in poverty. Better health results in less work time lost and fewer healthcare bills to pay, as well as less transport costs to access treatment.

Time and cost savings are also made by closer proximity to less expensive water supplies. Water and sanitation provision and the upkeep of facilities can also provide livelihood opportunities for community members.

We often run water and sanitation hygiene programmes as part of our housing microfinance work and our disaster response and management work.

building toilets cote d'ivoire sanitation
Perhaps the question is not, ‘Can we afford to provide decent housing and basic services for all humans?’ Rather, it is, ‘Can we—the human species—afford not to? Dr. Greg Goldstein, World Health Organisation

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