WaterAid is an international development organisation whose mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. We work with local partners to reach communities with services, and call on governments and decision-makers to bring about a world where everyone everywhere has these essentials by 2030.
Today, one in three people live without basic sanitation facilities, and one in ten lack access to safe water. Around 315,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – that’s one child every two minutes.
We know the basic human rights of water and sanitation are essential to sustainable development in areas such as education, health, gender equality, welfare, and economic growth. To address global inequalities we must therefore focus on ensuring the world’s poorest and most marginalised people have access to these rights.
Politicians and decision-makers have a crucial part to play in ensuring everyone everywhere has this access. Investing in water, sanitation and hygiene is not only vital to the achievement of other development goals, but is also one of the most cost-effective ways to spend the UK’s aid budget – for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of at least $4 is returned in increased productivity.