Water and Sanitation

Having access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is essential for good health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, 750 million people are still deprived of clean water and 2.5 billion do not have access to a basic toilet.

When people are forced to drink unclean water or resort to open defecation, they risk contracting and spreading serious water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid. Our work focuses on:

  • increasing access to safe water sources
  • building and maintaining water and sanitation systems
  • storing and distributing water
  • educating about hygiene and sanitation
  • developing good menstrual hygiene among school girls
  • influencing water and sanitation policy at different government levels

Case study: Fiji

mereiaMereia is a 50-year-old woman from Bua province. Her village suffers from long dry seasons and receives very little seasonal rain. Existing water facilities couldn’t meet the demands of her community and very few people knew how to maintain their water systems. Typhoid and diarrhoea were very common, making clean water supply an urgent issue.

Together with Partners in Community Development Fiji, we worked with Mereia’s village to improve their water management and sanitation. Villagers learned how to manage water resources, from maintaining their water filters to learning conservation methods. We also installed 11 rainwater tanks to increase the amount of clean water available.

Mereia’s village formed a water point committee to look after their water systems, and Mereia was elected treasurer. The committee oversees the maintenance of the main water pipe and is responsible for testing the water supply to ensure it remains uncontaminated. Mereia also encourages her community to reuse their dish water in the garden and not leave their taps on.

“I’ve noticed a decrease in the number of water-borne diseases in my community since the training,” said Mereia. “I’m very proud of my role on the committee and want to make sure everyone continues to have access to clean water.”

Mereia’s community is now working together to purchase more sanitation facilities, including flushable toilets.

Everyone deserves access to clean water:

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Action on Poverty

Action on Poverty