Water, sanitation and hygiene

Lack of access to clean water and basic sanitation is one of the leading causes of death among children in the world. Improving sanitary conditions is therefore a vital part of our mother and child health projects and our work in humanitarian emergency situations.

Terre des hommes’ water, sanitation and hygiene projects

Water and sanitation infrastructure

The first step to protect children and their families against waterborne diseases is to ensure use of improved toilets and availability of potable water in households, schools and health facilities. Terre des hommes also works with local authorities to promote safely managed drinking water and sanitation services.

Hygiene promotion

Knowledge can certainly save lives when it comes to sanitation and hygiene. Our local teams and partners provide recommendations about proper hand washing, household water treatment and storage, food hygiene and the safe disposal of faeces. These messages are tailored to each community’s existing practices. We also train the staff in over 200 health facilities in Mali, Benin, Bangladesh and Nepal on measures to prevent infections, and work with health authorities to ensure minimum standards in sanitation infrastructure and waste management.

Emergency relief

In the event of natural disasters or conflict, Terre des hommes’ teams provide drinking water and hygiene supplies to affected populations, with particular focus on children. We also repair and improve the durability of water and sanitation infrastructures. For instance, in Iraq, we work at the frontline in the south of Mosul: we provide drinking water to children at risk of dehydration and to their families.

Sharing expertise and collaboration

Terre des hommes is a member of the Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium supported by the SDC. We also have a partnership with the Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development Department (Sandec) of Eawag, the aquatic research institute of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology. This collaboration brings together scientific research, technological solutions and fieldwork to strengthen infection prevention and control in health facilities in developing countries. Tdh is also a member of the global task team for monitoring WASH in healthcare facilities led by the WHO / Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP).

«We had to go to the toilet in plastic bags and bury the bags in the garden. It's much better now that we have toilets. We also have showers where we feel safe.»

Luisa, an internally displaced person in the Córdoba region


Eco San Toilet in India

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Related publications

Thematic policy - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Thematic Policy - Mother and Child Health
Annual report 2021
Infopage WASH_EN

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