WASH United goals and activities
WASH United uses the power of sport and the role model status of some of the world's biggest sport stars to
- tackle taboos related to sanitation and create demand for sanitation services:
Sanitation is still often a taboo, making it difficult for people to talk openly about this fundamental issue and to demand a stronger focus on ensuring access to toilets and latrines from political decision makers. WASH United uses the positive power of sport to undermine persisting taboos and to create demand for sanitation services.
- promote hand-washing with soap (or ash, sand or mud):
Hand-washing with soap at critical times (before eating, before preparing food; after toilet use, after cleaning a baby) can reduce the risk of getting deadly diarrhoea almost by half. Yet, despite the immense benefits of proper hand-washing behaviour, changing peoples' habits has proven difficult. WASH United has developed a new approach. Using innovative games and taking advantage of the role model status of the stars, WASH United facilitates the internalization of life-saving hand-washing behaviour, especially with children.
- advocate for safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right:
WASH United is based on the conviction that access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a basic human right. WASH United raises awareness for the right to water and sanitation in the target countries and advocates for the full recognition and realisation of the right, engaging political decision-makers at both national and international level.
Where is WASH United active?
Since May 2010, WASH United focuses on promoting safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Mali, Lesotho, Uganda and Tanzania.
In addition to activities in the WASH United target countries, we also work in Europe to raise awareness and lobby political decision makers for the human right to water and sanitation.
WASH United Activities in Europe
In Europe, WASH United aims to reach political decision makers to ensure that access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene are prioritised in development cooperation, and that the right to water and sanitation is promoted within all development activities. WASH United is also actively involved in processes at the United Nations and other international fora to promote the full recognition of the human right to water and sanitation.
In addition, we organise public events to raise awareness for the importance of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene among the general public and the media. See e.g. our activities on World Water Day 2010.