Nodepage

Water and sanitation

The world’s water resources are under increasing pressure due to intensive farming, increasing population, and political tensions. This situation is exacerbated by climate change and environmental degradation.

Poor disposal of human and household waste encourages vermin and insects to thrive, and water and food become contaminated. Water-related diseases cause the death of 3.5 million people every year, and many children die before the age of five from diseases caused by drinking dirty water and living in unsanitary conditions.

Projects

Urban water and waste projects

Current and recent projects to improve access to drinking water, sanitation and waste services for the urban poor.

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Faecal sludge management in Bangladesh

Practical Action has won a prestigious innovation award from the International Water Association for our work on ‘faecal sludge management’ in Bangladesh.

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Examples of our approach

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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News from our blogs - water and sanitation

Chief Minister inaugurates Dhenkanal’s pioneering faecal sludge treatment plant, Odisha, India

26th October 2018 marked a landmark moment for the town of Dhenkanal, with the ceremonial inauguration of the town’s faecal sludge treatment plant. The ceremony was presided over by the State’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik (the elected head of the state government). In a true sign...
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Practical Action on Jersey ITV news

When your job is writing materials to engage the next generation in Practical Action’s work there is nothing more satisfying when you see that in action! Last month I went to Jersey with my colleague Bren Hellier. Following on from a week of activities with primary pupils run by The Jersey Mus...
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The change we want to see for urban slum dwellers

Last week the World Bank released an update of its ‘What a Waste’ report. It highlights how over 90% of waste in low-income countries is openly dumped or burned. This affects everyone, but impacts poor people the most. Rubbish is rarely effectively collected in their neighbourhoods. It causes pol...
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My kind of heroes … the unsung WASHeroes of Gulariya

“An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory.” Ernst F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered Monday, 25 May 2015 was a memorable day in Gulariya - the day the town declared itself ‘Open Defecation Free.' This milestone was a...
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World Water Week 2018: highlights from an urban WASH fanatic

Practical Action Publishing was in the forefront for us this year at World Water Week in Stockholm. The event is a key point in the WASH calendar with 3,700 delegates over a packed week of discussion and learning.

Water a cross-cutting issue for all our programmes

Our exhibition st...
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Related documents

Water and sanitation documents

From policy reports and briefing documents to case studies and research papers, you will find all documents on water and sanitation here.

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