What is W.A.S.H?
W - Water
A - And
S - Sanitation
H - Hygiene
According to UNICEF, "W.A.S.H. is the collective term for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Due to their interdependent nature, these three core issues are grouped together to represent a growing sector. While each a separate field of work, each is dependent on the presence of the other."
In thinking holistically about the issues our less fortunate brothers and sisters face, we are able to do work that:
Provides the availability of Safe, Clean Water for drinking, bathing, food preparation, and healthcare procedures
Provides Sanitation Services such as wastewater and solid waste management including safe disposal of human waste to prevent the spread of disease by providing public toilets and wastewater treatment techniques.
Provides Education and Personal Hygiene Tools in proper hand-washing and Environmental Stewardship to stop cross-contamination and the spread of disease within a community.
These are THE FACTS.
Today, 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. (Source)
844 million people (1/10th of the world's population) lack even a basic drinking-water service, including 159 million people who are dependent on surface water. (Source)
Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces. (Source)
Contaminated drinking water and inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 842,000 deaths due to diarrhea each year. (Source)
By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. (Source)
2.3 billion people in the world still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines. (Source)
... Of these, 892 million still defecate in open settings within their community or near their home, for example in street gutters, behind bushes or into open bodies of water. (Source)
72% of households rely on women in developing countries to fetch and haul the family’s water when there is no water source in the home. (Source)
443 million school days in developing countries are lost each year due to water-related diseases. (Source)
$260 billion is lost globally each year due to lack of adequate water supply and sanitation in developing countries. (Source)
Today, one child under 5 dies from a water related disease every 2 minutes in developing countries. (Source)
THE RESULTS of implementing W.A.S.H. systems/education.
It's simple, lives are saved.
Improved general health especially in children and the elderly.
Longer life expectancy.
Reduced illness and death.
Reduction of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs); for example, dengue fever, leprosy, rabies and tapeworm.
Reduction in waterborne Illnesses such as typhoid, cholera, & parasites.
Improves socioeconomic development.
Children are able to go to school.