Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are crucial for human life and health.
Every year almost seven million children die before their fifth birthday, many from preventable diarrhoeal diseases. About 780 million people have no access to safe drinking water, and more than one third of the world’s population live without even basic sanitation. Access to water can be a challenge, both in urban slums with congested public fountains and in rural areas, where collecting water for the household can require a long and sometimes dangerous trek by women or children to a distant well or waterhole.
A third to a half of schools and even health facilities in developing countries lack clean water and/or sanitation, making them a potential source of contamination. Lack of privacy in schools’ sanitary facilities restricts particularly girls’ access to education.
German development cooperation sees the realisation of the human right to water and sanitation as key to sustainable development and poverty reduction. As can be read in the articles and studies on this page, this immense challenge requires multidimensional efforts, allying sustainable infrastructure development (e.g. integrated and climate-sensitive urban sanitation systems) with impacting beneficiaries’ knowledge, attitude and practice concerning hygiene, as in adapted FIT for School programmes.