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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

Oxfam supports flood recovery response in Timor-Leste 2 December, 2021 - As part of EWB’s emergency response to the catastrophic April floods in Timor-Leste,  EWB worked with Oxfam Timor-Leste, teaming up with Feto Enginhera (Women in Engineering) to coordinate clean water and sanitation initiatives to flood-affected communities of Hera. In June, the team visited the flood-affected community of Hera and residents at the local evacuation centres to examine the extent… read more
Erakor Bridge Community resident David stands in-front of Erakor Lagoon. Valuing sanitation in challenging environments 19 November, 2021 - Pictured: Erakor Bridge Community resident David Kalsal, who has been a vocal campaigner for improved access to safe sanitation. Across the world, 3.6 billion people are living without access to safe sanitation.  For many communities, conventional, affordable and easy-to-construct toilets are not a viable option due to the environmental landscape of the areas they live… read more
Stephanie and Songnam brainstorm in Kratie, Cambodia (2019) Aligning personal values with an engineering career  28 April, 2021 - When most children get tired of their toys, they’re usually thrown away or donated to the local charity shop. As a young kid growing up in Adelaide, Stephanie May’s mum encouraged her to give away her toys to other children, to bring them some joy. Stephanie was also urged to put aside a portion of… read more