|© UNICEF/HQ06-1132/Mohammed Jadallah|
|Boys fill containers with tap water at a community water point in Occupied Palestinian Territory.|
The UNICEF water, sanitation and hygiene programme touches children and their families around the world.
The stories below are an introduction to the scope and impact of UNICEF water and sanitation activities worldwide, and the lives they change.
Afghanistan: water and sanitation services under fire
With over 35 years of work on the ground in Afghanistan, UNICEF has built trust within communities and is able to provide emergency water and sanitation services under extreme circumstances.
UNICEF and Afghan Ministry of Health combat disease by recruiting women to teach
Arzow Saadat is a woman with a mission. As a health education supervisor in Herat, her job is to make sure that the four female educators in her charge understand everything there is to know about health and hygiene and that they pass their knowledge on to some 2,000 people spread across the region.
Small water purifiers make a major difference in keeping Ethiopian children and
Dereje Abdeta dips a bucket into the polluted waters of the Awash River to take a sample just a few metres from where a group of young herders have brought their cattle to drink.
India: Water and sanitation and the power of women
In India, like most developing countries, women are the collectors of water, spending between one to four hours a day lugging jugs to their homes. They are the ones who manage household water use.
Clean water and improved sanitation for a school in Tamil Nadu
PANCHAYAT VILLAGE, India, 25 January 2005 – Over half of all schools in developing countries lack proper facilities for providing safe water and sanitation to students. This jeopardizes the health of millions of schoolchildren and hampers their education. But in Tamil Nadu, India, UNICEF has teamed up with the local government to bring clean water and adequate latrines to boys and girls in school.
Indonesia: Water and sanitation and the ‘little doctors’
The mothers of Banjar Sari in Indonesia beam with pride as they watch their children performing in the primary school play. But the mothers are more than entertained by the young actors, they are also learning valuable lessons.
Mozambique: children lead the way
Throughout the outlying area of Beira City in central Mozambique, young people are transforming dank and dirty schools into healthy, inviting places of learning. Children as young as seven are the messengers, educating their peers, their families and their communities about the importance of safe water, good hygiene and private, separate sanitation facilities.
Nicaragua: young and old form a powerful partnership
Not long ago, the people of Piedras Grandes, Nicaragua would trudge down to the river and lug its unsafe water back to their homes. The river was the only source of the village’s drinking water. As a result, water-borne illnesses affected many children and their families. Something had to be done.
Nigeria: community-wide benefits from water and sanitation and girls’ education
In Nigeria, the road to the Millennium Development Goals is a holistic journey. Whether working towards reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and guinea worm, or ensuring environmental stability, the water and sanitation sector is a key ingredient.
Water and sanitation makes school girl-friendly in Juba, southern Sudan
KHARTOUM, Sudan, 26 January 2005 – Lack of water and sanitation has made studies a constant struggle for the 15,000 students at St. Joseph Basic School in Juba, the capital of Bahr el Jebel state in southern Sudan. To create a better learning environment for these children and to keep them in school, UNICEF has stepped in to bring much needed clean water and sanitation facilities to schools in Juba.
Guinea worm causes physical pain for people, economic pain for countries
John Jal Youl pulls up a pant leg and points to a faded scar on his ankle. "That is where he came out," he says, brushing his hand over a pink circle on his weathered black skin. "The wound burned like a fire."
Tajik children take the lead in improving access to safe water and sanitation
Dushanbe, September 2003 - Three hundred schoolchildren representing Tajikistan’s 58 districts and 185 of the country’s schools gathered in the capital, Dushanbe, to participate in the first National Children’s Water Forum, from 21 to 23 August 2003.
Zimbabwe: a new well allows Shupikai to return to school
Shupikai, a shy 11-year-old in Zimbabwe's impoverished Binga district, had no choice but to drop out of school when her mother fell sick with tuberculosis and persistent diarrhoea.
More water and sanitation real lives stories from UNICEF's country offices:
Water, sanitation, hygiene and young people
Voices of Youth on Water and Sanitation
Explore UNICEF's Voices of Youth water and sanitation web pages, including discussion forums, fact sheets, guidelines and the new Water Alert! interactive game.