WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene

About WASH:[1]


WASH is an acronym that stands for "water, sanitation and hygiene". Universal, affordable and sustainable access to WASH is a key public health issue within international development and is the focus of Sustainable Development Goal 6.[2]

Several international development agencies assert that attention to WASH can also improve health, life expectancy, student learning, gender equality, and other important issues of international development. Access to WASH includes safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene education. This can reduce illness and death, and also reduce poverty and improve socio-economic development.

In 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that "1 in 3 people, or 2.4 billion, are still without sanitation facilities" while 663 million people still lack access to safe and clean drinking water. In 2017, this estimate changed to 2.3 billion people without sanitation facilities and 844 million people without access to safe and clean drinking water.

Lack of sanitation contributes to about 700,000 child deaths every year due to diarrhea, mainly in developing countries. Chronic diarrhea can have long-term negative effects on children, in terms of both physical and cognitive development. In addition, lack of WASH facilities can prevent students from attending school, impose an unusual burden on women and reduce work productivity.

1. WASH - Wikipedia, visited 2019-08-21
2. SDG6 - Clean water and sanitation, visited 2019-08-21