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IN THIS PHOTO

Yara, a participant in our cash assistance program, holds her son Ramee, 2, in front of her makeshift shelter in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

© RI

Yara, a participant in our cash assistance program, holds her son Ramee, 2, in front of her makeshift shelter in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

RI

Sudan. RI/Elie Gardner
What we do

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

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Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Overview

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of clean water, clean sanitation, and basic hygiene practices as essential building blocks for leading healthy lives and preventing disease. Humans cannot go more than three days without water and survive. Yet billions of people across the globe are living without reliable access to these necessities of life. Thirty-five percent of the world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities such as latrines and toilets, and 780 million people rely on contaminated drinking water sources. These same people struggle to obtain enough water to grow food, raise livestock, and protect their environments – all of which are essential to their families’ survival and livelihoods.

Relief International is working in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to improve access to and the sustainable management of existing water sources. When required, we work with local partners to build new water and sanitation systems that connect communities to practical solutions. Local leaders are trained to manage and repair these systems, ensuring their operation outlasts our presence. We also partner with these leaders to create relevant messages that encourage healthy hygiene practices to promote health and prevent the spread of disease.

All of Relief International’s water, sanitation, and hygiene work is underpinned by protection measures. This means we ensure that groups with high vulnerability or special needs have access and dignity in attaining the clean water and safe sanitation they need for good health.

Our water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities include:

  • Ensuring access to clean drinking water by creating sustainable boreholes and rainwater harvesting systems
  • Monitoring existing boreholes to prevent over-extraction and damage to natural resources
  • Employing alternative power sources, such as solar, in the operation of water sources to reduce reliance on fuel-powered equipment and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Distributing water fairly by building pipelines and surface-water kiosks that consider water needs to households, schools, clinics, agriculture, livestock, and the environment
  • In emergencies, trucking clean water to crisis-affected areas
  • Training teachers and local leaders to promote public hygiene and deliver information on water treatment, conservation, and storage to improve lives at the household level
  • Constructing latrines for households, schools, and clinics that are designed to withstand extreme weather events
  • Distributing hygiene kits that include necessities like sanitary napkins, laundry and body soap, toothbrushes, and plastic combs
Our Impact

The essentials for a healthy life

212K
people with improved access to water in 2018
120K
people reached with improved sanitation in 2018
158K
people educated in healthy hygiene behaviors in 2018
Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Our Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Work

Bangladesh

Two Years Later: The Rohingya Refugee Crisis Continues

Relief International’s programs continue to support the diverse needs of hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

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Somalia

Somalia Braces as Climate Change Brings Recurring Droughts and Floods

In late April of 2018, Somalia’s two major rivers overflowed after weeks of heavy rains. Our response demonstrates how we provide emergency aid when a crisis is at its height.

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Sudan

As the Darfur Crisis Drags On, Disease Kills

Relief International has operated continuously inside Sudan’s ZamZam camp since 2004, relying on our strong relationships with the camp’s residents to tackle issues facing the community.

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Bangladesh. Rachel Elkind/RI

Bangladesh

Two Years Later: The Rohingya Refugee Crisis Continues

Somalia Floods

Somalia

Somalia Braces as Climate Change Brings Recurring Droughts and Floods

Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Sudan

As the Darfur Crisis Drags On, Disease Kills

Bangladesh. Rachel Elkind/RI
Somalia Floods
Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI
Bangladesh. Rachel Elkind/RI

Two Years Later: The Rohingya Refugee Crisis Continues

Somalia Floods

Somalia Braces as Climate Change Brings Recurring Droughts and Floods

Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

As the Darfur Crisis Drags On, Disease Kills

From our staff

By helping restore drinking water and reduce water-related diseases while drought grips the country, our response offers rural families the option to stay in their homes rather than embarking on dangerous migrations.

Afghanistan

Featured Resources

Bangladesh.Rachel Elkind/RI

Get in touch

For more information on Relief International’s work in WASH, please contact [email protected]