Last year we helped 141,000 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. 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 sanitation, yet many millions of people still don’t have access.

What we do

Practical Action deliver significant water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes and we are ambitious to do more. 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.

Examples of our approach to urban water, sanitation and waste

Solar-powered water pumps

A solar-powered water pump that uses locally-sourced equipment can pump 30,000 clean litres of clean, safe water every day.

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Improved toilets

Some of the world’s poorest people are those who live in slums, Practical Action is working to install effective sanitation in these areas

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Rainwater harvesting

Captures rainwater before it can be washed away, to be used once the rains have passed and soil is dehydrated

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Dams

Sand or earth can be used to build these water storage systems, for areas where precious rainwater does not come often enough

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Irrigation

Simple irrigation techniques help families move from malnutrition to self-sufficiency.

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Health and hygiene education

People living in poverty stricken areas have poor hygiene behaviour and lack of sanitation due to rapid and haphazard urbanisation

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Water distillation

With the use of solar power, people living in hot coastal regions can successfully distil their precious water

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Home composting

Introducing home composting bins to poor families in order to turn generated waste into useful rich compost for vegetable gardens.

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Water & sanitation

More than one billion people worldwide can’t get the safe, clean water they need. Lack of access to adequate water supplies means people’s lives are at risk. Drinking, washing, cooking, growing crops and rearing livestock all require water.

Improving access to water and sanitation

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.

Waste management

Projects

We are working around the world to improve access to drinking water, sanitation and waste services for the urban poor.

Read more about our current and recent projects.

Latest news from our blogs

A warm and thoughtful breakfast with the WASH ladies!

I never thought that I would so enjoy such a charming breakfast and chit-chat with women from different corners of the world at the 'Citywide Inclusive Sanitation Principles' workshop in Khulna, Bangladesh. That morning, 2nd April took me by surprise! I met more than twenty beautiful faces workin...
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Ingenious water and waste solutions changing lives

On Friday, the world is celebrating International Women’s Day. People around the world will be celebrating women’s achievements whilst calling for a more gender-balanced world. For Practical Action, the day is particularly important. We work with women around the world – helping them find solu...
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Supporting the informal sector to deliver effective FSM services

Next week sees an important gathering of practitioners, government representatives, funders and others focusing Faecal Sludge Management. From lowly beginnings in Durban in 2011, the growing numbers of people gathered at this two-yearly conference demonstrate an increasing recognition of the impo...
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Our experience

We help identify and implement practical, sustainable water, sanitation and waste management technologies that people can use to reduce urban poverty.

We research, develop and adapt technologies, making sure that success in one country can form a template for success in another. Consequently, our projects make an impact far beyond the communities that initially benefit.

Our experience in urban water and waste

Policy

Practical Action aims to achieve 'inclusive services: liveable cities', where poor people can enjoy at least a basic level of services as part of their human rights, and the foundation on which they can improve their well-being, and live the life they value.

Urban water and waste policy

Emergency sanitation

We have been working in the camps for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to install faecal sludge treatment plants to safely treat this waste.

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Technical information

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

 

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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