Growing up in a clean and safe environment is the right of every child. Access to clean water, simple toilets, and good hygiene practices ensure that children thrive and give them a healthier start in life.
Although COVID -19 highlights the importance of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of disease, three billion people worldwide, including hundreds of millions of school children, do not have access to handwashing facilities with soap. People living in rural areas, urban slums, disaster-prone areas, and low-income countries are most vulnerable and most affected.
Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of WASH advocacy are to facilitate change and the development of policies to tackle unmet water supply, sanitation, and hygiene needs or deal with emerging WASH service requirements in the community.
There are significant disparities in access to WASH between rural and urban areas and differences between countries. Sanitation in rural areas is often the lowest priority of all subsectors. Challenges in the urban water sector are often related to the quality of service and financial sustainability of service providers (usually municipalities or utilities). Key common structural challenges include:
- Multiple institutions with overlapping mandates for service delivery coupled with poor coordination practices.
- Low budget allocations from government sources and reliance on donor funds and household expenditure.
- Inequities in service delivery are linked to access (between rural and urban areas and between wealth quintiles) and that the poor often pay for more services directly from their own pockets.
The risk of human rights violations, violence, and displacement of children in humanitarian emergencies is extreme. On top of it all, water and sanitation systems are often vulnerable to attack during the conflict. With no potable water or adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities, children, especially those already suffering from malnutrition and weakened immune systems, become even more susceptible to water-borne diseases.
To prevent the outbreak of a public health emergency, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services must be prepared to support children and their communities in times of crisis – including during armed conflict and other fragile contexts.
UNICEF and its partners continue to support the maintenance of the water supply systems operating throughout Yemen. Thanks to the support of partners, nearly 5 million people were able to obtain safe drinking water, and almost one million people were able to get an emergency supply of safe drinking water in 2018. In addition, more than 5.5 million people living in high-risk areas for cholera have gained access to household water treatment and sterilization facilities.
To improve access to potable water, the European Union has funded the largest seawater desalination plant in the Gaza Strip to date, along with the largest solar energy field in the Gaza Strip, which will eventually provide potable water to 250,000 people.
The desalination plant and area were built to produce solar energy by UNICEF. UNICEF continues to work on innovative solutions to make the supply of potable water more sustainable and cost-effective, including installing a new desalination model in Gaza in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This solar-powered model is less energy-intensive than conventional technology and converts about (90%) of the water it extracts from the aquifer into drinking water.
To alleviate the difficulties experienced by the population in providing safe water for drinking and use, many local organizations like “Bonyan Organization” and the “White Hands Association” both worked to help this crisis by implementing several projects related to water and sanitation programs. These programs aim to provide clean water at the lowest possible cost and deliver it to the affected families.
These projects varied, including distributing water with individual tanks, where water is transported to areas that suffer from a lack of it and digging wells, and installing water pumps to help families obtain clean water.
What are WASH Projects?
The WASH project works on long-term prevention and control measures for improving health, reducing poverty, and improving socio-economic development as well as responding to global emergencies and outbreaks of life-threatening illnesses.
What are The WASH Program Activities?
It provides safe water for drinking, cooking, personal hygiene, and household cleaning.
It provides latrines or toilets segregated by sex or family unit for safe use by women, girls, men, and boys.
What Does WASH Stand For?
Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) Regions.