Empowering Women Through Improved Water Security

This is a video photo essay telling important roles of women in Khammouan Province, Lao PDR. The USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project is working with the International Union for Conservation of Nature in central Lao PDR to implement community-led climate change adaptation strategies.


Breaking the Taboo: How School WASH Impacts Girls’ Education

The sound of girls singing echoes through the walkways of Kabulonga Girls Secondary School in Lusaka, Zambia. The song is in Nyanja, but the last three words of the chorus are in English. The girls sing: “Water, san’tation and hygiene…” The last syllable of “hygiene” is held through to the refrain.

Outside the classroom, little boys hang on the window bars or sit on the ledges, legs stretched out. They watch the singing with seeming envy. They look, at this moment, like they wish that they too were teenage girls.


Clean Water Means Life to These Indian Moms

For Ruksana Begum, the 1-kilometer-long walk to the nearby water purification center has now become worth her children’s lives.

Each morning as the clock strikes 10, Begum leaves her home carrying an empty 20-liter water can and a 5 rupee coin (8 cents) in her hand. As she arrives at the water center, she patiently waits in the queue to fill her can. Before leaving, Begum hands over the coin to Shiva, the revenue collector at the water center, and then walks back home with the filled water can, her eyes gleaming with a smile that’s hard to ignore.


A Community Approach to Better Public Health in Liberia

Liberia is no stranger to difficult times, having weathered a devastating Ebola outbreak and now struggling through a slow economic recovery. Lost amid the headlines from these events is the story of Liberia’s quiet public health victories.

Half of Liberia’s 4.5 million people live in the countryside and roughly the same amount practice open defecation. This practice has jeopardized public health by facilitating the spread of diseases that cause diarrhea, Liberia’s sixth leading cause of death and the primary cause of childhood morbidity and mortality.


USAID Joins 100,000 Women in India to Bring Dignity, Safety, and Health to a City of Two Million

At USAID we recognize the threat poor sanitation combined with rapid urbanization presents to human health, dignity, and prosperity. This is why we have made urban sanitation a global priority for the Agency. During a recent visit to India, I was able to see some of the work being done to bring sanitation services to urban areas, and had the good fortune to meet some inspiring women who are advancing these efforts in their communities.

Focus Area Topic

Gender Equality & Empowerment

Investing in gender equality and women’s empowerment can unlock human potential on a transformational scale, including addressing global water and sanitation challenges.

Why it Matters


Final Performance Evaluation – Water Sanitation and Hygiene Transformation for Enhanced Resiliency (WaTER) Project

Pastoralist communities in Ethiopia exhibit some of the lowest water and sanitation coverage rates in the world. In order to contribute towards alleviating the prevailing water and sanitation problems, USAID/Ethiopia designed a three-year and four months (September 6, 2011-March 31, 2014) Water Sanitation and Hygiene Transformation for Enhanced Resiliency (WaTER) Project with a total budget of almost $8 million.