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Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

The United Nations supports the fundamental human right to access safe, secure, dignified and affordable water and sanitation services. EWB Australia works to improve this through our WASH program.

1/3 of worlds population

does not have access to adequate sanitation

783 million people

live without safe drinking water

Over 2 billion people

lack access to a toilet

EWB Australia’s work focuses on disadvantaged communities in Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Australia to further SDG #6 – clean water and sanitation for all. Lack of access to clean water and toilets, the practice of open defecation, and lack of education in basic cleanliness all increase the risk of disease – resulting in ill health, malnutrition, stunting and poor development outcomes for communities.

Challenging environments compound these issues, because even when standard WASH systems are available, these designs typically don’t work in areas prone to flooding, high groundwater or drought. This makes it even harder for these communities to access safe water and good sanitation. Our Sanitation In Challenging Environments (SCE) projects place a particular solutions-focus on these areas. 

What do we do?

EWB Australia’s development approach is to support the implementation of activities through capacity building, adopting community-led design and engagement. Guided by our Australian-based staff, in-country staff, and Field Professional volunteers, EWB Australia’s WASH team supports, trains and mentors local technical practitioners, through partnering with more than 10 WASH partners across Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.

We foster long-term relationships with these local partner organisations, in consultation with communities. Our contribution strengthens the successful implementation of these WASH initiatives, which have an immediate impact on local communities. 

Our work

Our work focuses on providing specialist technical capacity – design, pro-typing, testing, construction, maintenance, training and education – for appropriate water and sanitation systems. We also work with governments to develop, endorse and support the implementation of sanitation guidelines and policies, across a range of projects. 

This program is supported by ANCP and Australia Aid.

Stories of Impact

Volunteering for ‘real-world work experience’ 22 December, 2022 - Volunteers are so important to EWB’s work. They dedicate time and effort to ensure the inclusion of those often left behind, drive climate action and advance the Sustainable Development Goals.… read more
Clean, safe water needed for remote Indigenous communities 29 November, 2022 - Access to safe and reliable water is a basic human right, and essential for health and quality of life. Yet not all remote First Nations communities can access it. The… read more
Sanitation solutions for hard ground environments in Cambodia 15 November, 2022 - Despite significant progress over the years to increase access to rural sanitation services, Cambodia continues to report the highest rate of open defecation in the region. In 2011, to address… read more