It is widely recognized that inadequate access to water and sanitation services has enormous health, economic and social consequences. Poor water quality continues to pose a major threat to human health. Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old, and is responsible for killing around 760,000 children every year (WHO, 2013). A significant proportion of diarrheal disease can be prevented through safe drinking-water and adequate sanitation and hygiene. In communities that lack safe drinking water, women and girls spend several hours each day collecting water from distant sources, and this reduces opportunities to attend school.
The primary goal of WA-WASH was to increase sustainable access to safe water and sanitation and improve hygiene in West Africa. The objectives of this four-year (2011–2015) program were to introduce innovative and low-cost WASH technologies and promote adequate hygienic behaviors at community level; develop practical models of sustainable WASH service delivery; and facilitate cooperation and create synergies between WA-WASH and other relevant USAID/West Africa programs.
WA-WASH introduces innovative and low-cost water and sanitation technologies, and promotes appropriate hygienic behaviors at the community level. The program also develops practical models of sustainable WASH service delivery; and increases the capacity of national and regional institutions to replicate these approaches and models throughout the region. WAWASH is partnering with the African Water Association to serve as a Knowledge dissemination platform