Through water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) investments, the water sector works to improve health outcomes, providing improved access to safe water supply and sanitation, while promoting improved hygiene practices and supporting approaches that can be brought to scale and sustained. These services can improve health, lower health care costs, and save time, particularly for poorer populations. The results can be immediate and long-term, providing vital economic and social benefits to millions of people.
Learn how students, teachers, and USAID are teaming up for better health in East Java, Indonesia.A Troublesome Toilet
At Ngalah School in Pasuruan, Indonesia, over 330 girls had to share Dorm D’s solitary bathroom—more like a locker room or public pool facility than anything else.
"It was dirty. Bugs were everywhere,” said 19-year-old Anis Faridah, the girls’ student leader. “There weren’t enough toilets or enough showers."
In the center of Simaye village in Mali’s Mopti Region, men, women, and children gather under a large tree to listen. Two USAID-trained facilitators discuss the health challenges facing the village. Only three latrines serve many families, so more than half of the people are practicing open defecation; the water point no longer functions, so most families are pulling dirty water from the river; many of the infants and young children are not benefitting from exclusive breastfeeding or a diversified diet, so they are malnourished.
It is one of the world’s most popular water purification tablets. Thanks to the work of local distribution partners around the world, Aquatabs, produced by a private company called Medentech, helped treat more than 11 billion liters of water globally in 2016.
On her first night of menstruation, and for every night of her period, 15-year-old Roshani Tiruwa was expected to leave the warmth and safety of her family home and sleep in a tiny windowless hut barely large enough to stretch out in. She ate less dinner than usual because, by custom, women are not allowed to eat dairy at this point in their cycle.
The project pioneered new mechanisms for cooperation between public and private partners. Alianzas formed alliances by inviting new potential partners to participate in existing projects and jointly create solutions that could be implemented through nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) or government-led projects.
The goal of Nutri-Salud is to improve health and nutritional status of Guatemala’s rural and indigenous populations. Nutri-Salud’s target population are the 30 municipalities (pop. 1.2 to 1.5 million) in five departments (six Health Areas) in the Western Highlands. The target beneficiaries are children under five, with emphasis on those under two years, and women of reproductive age.
Water Currents is produced biweekly by USAID’s E3 Water Office. Each issue contains recent news and articles on water sector issues, partner and donor updates, latest sector research, and a special focus on one topic. Please provide your feedback and suggestions by contacting the firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPRING/Mali officially launched in December 2014 with the support of Helen Keller International (HKI). USAID/Mali tasked the project with improving the nutritional status of women and children, with a special emphasis on building resilience in the Mopti Region through the prevention and treatment of undernutrition while targeting the critical “1,000 days” of pregnancy and a child’s first two years.