Engineers Without Borders has recently partnered with WaterAid the world's leading non-governmental organisation dedicated exclusively to the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene education to improve the lives of the world's most impoverished people.
Clean water is essential to life, yet over a billion people lack access to it and over two million people die annually from diseases related to unsafe drinking water. WaterAid strives to improve this situation through a comprehensive approach which incorporates potable water, sanitation and hygiene education as the key elements in the reduction of poverty. By focusing on projects that include these three elements, the impacts are long-lasting and far reaching.
Hygiene education, often overlooked in water-related development schemes, is an essential component to WaterAid's approach. Through it, communities learn about the practices that prevent the spread of germs which cause water and sanitation related diseases. These include the safe disposal of human excrement, personal and domestic hygiene, safe preparation and storage of food and water protection.
WaterAid's projects reach over 500,000 people a year, enabling people to escape from the spiral of poverty.
EWB has worked with WaterAid in Mali, Zambia and Burkina Faso. Currently EWB volunteer Jennifer Dysart is working with WaterAid in Zambia.