Last year we helped nearly 234,000 people to get access to clean water, sanitation and waste services

More than half of the world’s population now live in urban centres, and the number living in slums is increasing by 10% every year. Over a third of the developing world don’t have access to decent sanitation facilities.

In urban slums lack of access to household sanitation is a particular issue for women and children. Transmission of water-borne diseases such as cholera are exacerbated by environmental pollution and low levels of personal hygiene.

We know the clear advantages of clean water and sanitation, yet many millions of people still don’t have access.

Our project in Kisumu was supported by Safe Pair of Hands, a water appeal we ran at the end of 2017 with match funding from UK Aid. “We teach people how to wash their hands properly before and after eating to avoid communicable diseases.  I'm passionate about sanitation. I was born and grew up here and want to change it. That is why I volunteer.  We must do something to help.” – Maurice Ongawo, Community Health Champion, Kisumu, Kenya



What we do

Practical Action deliver water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes around the world. We promote the community-led total sanitation approach with partners and local governments, demonstrating best practice and developing innovative technologies for clean water and waste management. And we work with national and city governments to ensure that poor people are included in sanitation planning.

Clean water transforms childrens' lives

LIfe has its challenges for Imelda, a young mother living with her husband Frank in a one-room house in Kisumu’s informal settlement of Obunga. She has her hands full with twins of just under a year, as well as six year old James. Imelda works hard to make the home clean and safe for...

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Water and sanitation

More than one billion people worldwide can’t get the safe, clean water they need. Young children are particularly at risk of waterbourne diseases. Drinking, washing, cooking, growing crops and rearing livestock all require water.  

Waste management

Rapid urbanisation places a considerable strain on urban services, such as solid waste management.

We work with some of the poorest communities to improve waste management and collection methods, creating safer and healthier places to live and work.

Technical information service

Our technical information service offers free downloads on a range of topics related to water, sanitation and waste management.  We also offer a technical enquiry service where anyone working in poverty reduction, or on small-scale technology projects, can ask a question and receive a response from our local experts free of charge

Examples of our project work

Total sanitation in Kisumu

Water, sanitation improvements and hygiene education in two of Kisumu’s slums, Nyalenda and Obunga to reduce the spread of water borne diseases.

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Water for three states

This project will provide secure access to safe water through renovation and construction of water points and groundwater collection infrastructure and will promote improvements in hygiene and sanitation practice in the region.

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Safe faecal sludge management in Faridpur

Developing an effective and functional sludge management system for Faridpur

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Building healthy communities (Swachh Samudai)

The problem Poor sanitation in Choudwar, a city in Odisha state in India, causes frequent cases of diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and gastroenteritis in the population and also create issues of safety and security for women and girls. In the 17 slum areas of the city le...

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Healthy schools in Apurimac

The problem Many remote Andean communities lack basic services such as electricity and clean drinking water. Students' learning achievement is often low and there are high rates of teacher and student absenteeism through sickness.  Schools have little opportun...

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Water and sanitation in Turkana

The problem In Kenya’s arid northern regions remote rural communities have limited access to clean water.   Many women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from the nearest water source. More than 80% of the population have no access ...

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Projects like this depend on your support. Please help us to work with communities around the world to save lives and improve livelihoods.

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