Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
International photo contest highlights effects of climate change and encroaching deserts
NEW YORK, USA, 9 April 2009 – The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCDD) has issued a call for photographers to participate in the Second UNCCD International Photo Contest – part of a global effort to raise awareness about the issues of land degradation and desertification in drylands, and their social consequences.
Children create giant mural to mark World Water Day in Laos
VIENTIANE, Laos, 25 March 2009 – As part of international celebrations for World Water Day 2009, Laotian school children joined forces to create a huge mural.
Safe water improves quality of life for families in Berbera, Somalia
BERBERA, Somalia, 23 March 2009 – Until recently, the coastal town of Berbera, north-west Somalia, suffered from insufficient and poor quality of water delivered through its rundown water-supply system.
World Water Day and the need for global action on safe water and sanitation
NEW YORK, 19 March 2009 – As World Water Day 2009 approaches on 22 March, UNICEF-supported water, sanitation and hygiene projects are working to improve child health and survival in more than 90 developing countries.
Improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for children in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 12 March 2009 – Water is the most basic element necessary to sustain life, but less than quarter of all Afghans currently have ready access to it. Less than a third of the population is able to use adequate sanitation facilities, and even fewer have access to improved drinking-water sources.
Empowering communities to improve sanitation in Sierra Leone
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 25 February 2009 – Until recently, Kadiatu’s children had regularly suffered from diarrhoea and other diseases related to poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation facilities. Such bouts with illness led to missed school days and constant visits to the local hospital, which added additional strains to an already overstretched household.
Schoolchildren adopt improved sanitation and hygiene practices in Burkina Faso
WEOTENGA, Burkina Faso, 22 January 2009 – For the students at the Weotenga Primary School in central Burkina Faso, handwashing with soap is anything but a chore. In fact, it’s the latest craze, thanks to efforts by UNICEF to elevate the importance of personal hygiene in the region.
Helping an overwhelmed clinic respond to cholera in Chirundu, Zimbabwe
CHIRUNDU, Zimbabwe, 9 January 2009 – Cholera victims were in agony on the damp grass outside an overfilled clinic in Chinrundu, a small community in the Northwest region of Zimbabwe. The rural clinic, which only has the capacity to treat eight patients, has been overwhelmed by the cholera emergency; its staff has already witnessed 185 cases and 16 deaths.
Widespread collapse of social services creates 'twin disaster' in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 5 December 2008 – After a widespread breakdown in social services, the Government of Zimbabwe declared a national cholera crisis on Wednesday. The country’s health sector has collapsed and hospitals are closing, creating a ‘twin national disaster’.
Improving community sanitation in Uchi, Nigeria
UCHI, Nigeria, 12 November 2008 – UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Dr. Suomi Sakai and other UNICEF staff recently visited Uchi Community Primary School, located in Benue State, and toured the school’s improved water and sanitation facilites.
Goodwill Ambassador Joel Madden visits water projects in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 10 November 2008 – UNICEF USA Goodwill Ambassador Joel Madden has seen firsthand the deadly threat unsafe drinking water poses for thousands of children living in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Guineans mobilize for water, sanitation, hygiene and handwashing
CONAKRY, Guinea, 30 October 2008 – Global Handwashing Day was celebrated on 28 October in Guinea with handwashing ceremonies in schools across the country.
Villagers build latrines for better hygiene and child survival in Sierra Leone
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 28 October 2008 – Mahmud Konneh recently finished building a latrine in his village, Tilorma, in the Kenema District of eastern Sierra Leone. It is one of the 30 new latrines that have been constructed by Tilorma villagers under the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach.
Global Handwashing Day messages spread across Nepal
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 22 October 2008 – Nepal celebrated the first-ever Global Handwashing Day, 15 October, with various activities and demonstrations designed to convey one key message: that the simple act of handwashing can prevent many deadly diseases.
Global Handwashing Day celebrated in 700 schools across Angola
LUANDA, Angola, 17 October 2008 – On the first-ever Global Handwashing Day, 15 October, students and teachers from more than 700 participating schools across Angola engaged in symbolic acts of handwashing and listened to government leaders speak out about the importance of using water and soap.
A million Ethiopian children lather up with soap on Global Handwashing Day
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 16 October 2008 – Addis Ababa’s Maskal Square came alive in the spirit of handwashing yesterday as 1 million Ethiopian children united to wash their hands with soap and water in celebration of the first-ever Global Handwashing Day.
Star cricketer Sachin Tendulkar promotes handwashing in India
CHAANDIGARH, India, 16 October 2008 – Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and his teammates joined an estimated 100 million school children around the country yesterday in lathering up for better health and hygiene as part of the first Global Handwashing Day.
Global Handwashing Day: Children lead the way in Afghanistan, Somalia and Mozambique
NEW YORK, USA, 15 October 2008 – Millions of children in 70 countries around the world are marking the first-ever Global Handwashing Day with a simple act that will protect them from disease and save their lives.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, millions celebrate first Global Handwashing Day
NEW YORK, USA, 14 October 2008 – Tomorrow, millions of people around the world will wash their hands with soap at special events marking the inaugural Global Handwashing Day, 15 October.
Puppets and peers teach Indonesian children the importance of handwashing
KLATEN, Indonesia, 10 October 2008 – Students at a small rural elementary school here are learning a lesson that could save their lives. It’s a simple habit that many people around the world take for granted: being able to wash their hands with soap.
The Wiggles donate a song to UNICEF for first Global Handwashing Day
NEW YORK, USA, 9 October 2008 – The popular Australian children’s musical entertainers, The Wiggles, have produced and donated song to UNICEF to mark the first-ever Global Handwashing Day, to be observed on 15 October.
Making children's voices heard at the 2009 Children's Climate Forum in Copenhagen
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 8 October 2008 – The voices of children from all over the world convened to make themselves heard in the international climate debate earlier this week, as UNICEF Denmark and the municipality of Copenhagen hosted a preview of next year’s ‘Children’s Climate Forum Copenhagen 2009’ (CCFC 09). The event, held at a public school in Copenhagen, offered an advance look at CCFC09 to the Danish and international media.
Prevention and hygiene-awareness efforts aim to stave off cholera in Guinea-Bissau
BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau, 6 October 2008 – Jose Turé is a metal worker here in one of the poorest countries in the world, and his life has been marked by hardship. He left his family behind in the town of Bafata when he moved to Bissau, the capital, in hopes of earning a better living. But the move to the bigger town brought with it a new danger: cholera.
Villagers tap the rain to improve health and hygiene near quake-affected Yogyakarta
TLOGAWATU, Indonesia, 18 August 2008 – On the eastern slopes of Mount Merapi, a sacred, active volcano on the island of Java, change is about to come with the next rainfall.
Campaign aims to promote hand-washing and save young lives in Malawi
LILONGWE, Malawi, 15 August 2008 – A new campaign to promote hand-washing with soap is under way in Malawi. Using a cheerful animated character, called ‘SOPO’, the campaign has caught the imagination of children across the country.
New borehole well provides safe water to Aceh schoolchildren and villagers
ACEH BESAR, Indonesia, 23 July 2008 – The scorching sun overhead does not deter cheerful students at SDN 1 Lampaseh elementary school from washing their hands at the public water taps nearby. These schoolchildren are the first in a generation to benefit from a supply of fresh, safe water from a borehole well in Kampung Baroeh village.
Somali villages invest in solar-powered pump, with high returns
HARAF VILLAGE, Somaliland, Somalia, 22 July 2008 – Water has long been a scarce resource in Somaliland, where a two- to five-hour daily walk to fetch household water is not uncommon. Collecting water has traditionally been the task of women and girls, who are therefore unable to attend school regularly.
As UNICEF and WHO issue global update, water and sanitation still in short supply in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 17 July 2008 – Water is essential for drinking, cooking and hygiene, but collecting it is an arduous and time-consuming daily chore for women such as Kouloua in rural Niger.
Through a UNICEF-supported project, Aceh villagers finally get safe water
MERIE SATU, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, 4 June 2008 – For decades past, the residents of Merie Satu village could only dream of one day having access to safe water. There was no water source in their community, located in the rural, conflict-affected district of Bener Meriah in the heart of Aceh.
Promoting sustainable sanitation as a development cornerstone
NEW YORK, USA, 8 May 2008 – Water and sanitation experts joined financing professionals at UNICEF House in New York yesterday to identify sustainable methods of providing clean water and safe sanitation to those who lack these basic rights.
Child Health and Sanitation Week in Pakistan promotes hygiene to save young lives
TAKHTBAI, Pakistan, 5 May 2008 – In the remote town of Takhtbai in the North West Frontier Province, people took to the streets recently in a march to raise awareness during Pakistan's biannual Child Health and Sanitation Week.
UNICEF highlights water and sanitation at G8 Development Ministers’ Meeting in Tokyo
TOKYO, Japan, 11 April 2008 – UNICEF had an unprecedented opportunity to address the G8 Development Ministers’ Meeting on Millennium Development Goals and human security issues, which concluded earlier this week in Tokyo.
UNICEF responds to critical needs with water tankers in Basra crisis
AMMAN, Jordan, 31 March 2008 – For children in an Iraqi city paralyzed by violence, the arrival of a UNICEF water tanker in their street was an unexpected miracle. Thirsty families queued for up to two hours to fill whatever containers they could. For some, it was the first fresh water they had seen in days.
Lao PDR declares 2008 the National Year of Sanitation
VIENTIANE, Lao PDR, 28 March 2008 – Lao PDR declared 2008 to be the National Year of Sanitation, illustrating the government’s commitment to UNICEF’s global campaign on water and sanitation. A recent ceremony attracted more than 1,000 people, including government ministers, schoolchildren and representatives from over 120 villages throughout the country.
Sanitation project in Upper Egypt empowers children to protect their environment
SOHAG, Upper Egypt, 27 March 2008 – Admired by her peers at the Tawayel El-Sharqiyya School, Fatima, 10, is a natural leader. When Fatima speaks out about the urgent need to begin protecting the environment, the other students listen. She hopes they will also follow her example.
Celebrating the Tap Project to provide safe water for the world’s children
NEW YORK, USA, 20 March 2008 – As a glittery New York City event last night celebrated the success and the future of the Tap Project, rain poured down outside. The weather was just one reminder of the importance of bringing safe water to children around the world – the ultimate goal of this initiative.
Iraq’s water and sanitation crisis adds to dangers faced by children and families
BAGHDAD, Iraq, 19 March 2008 – Iraq has a large water and sanitation network, but it is in a critical state of disrepair. System failures are a daily fact of life.
Children are the best teachers in Zambia’s drive for better hygiene
CHOMA DISTRICT, Zambia, 19 March 2008 – Miyoba Milton is a big man with a big job – Headmaster at the Government Basic School in Choma. He is responsible for approximately 600 pupils and just over a dozen teachers. His authority is tempered with humility and enthusiasm.
Community outreach on hygiene for cyclone-affected families in Bangladesh
GABTALI, Bangladesh, 19 March 2008 – Pushi is very clean, washing her hands with water and soap whenever she uses the latrine and rinsing out the latrine pan when she is finished. Bulu, on the other hand, never washes his hands. After going to the latrine, he wipes them on his trousers.
Successful US Tap Project goes nationwide for World Water Week
NEW YORK, USA, 18 March 2008 — Last year’s successful New York City restaurant campaign to provide safe drinking water to the world’s children has gone national.
UNICEF promotes safe sanitation for World Water Day 2008
NEW YORK, USA, 19 March 2008 – On World Water Day tomorrow, as on every other day, some 2.5 billion people will be ‘doing their business’ somewhere other than in a toilet or latrine. That is not a statistic many people want to examine too closely, but it is crucial data for efforts to reduce child mortality.
Children and women lead the way to ‘total sanitation’ in Pakistan earthquake zone
PAKISTAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR, 29 February 2008 – Said Alam remembers the day when his granddaughter came back from school with a smile and a request that was about to change the whole family’s mindset and habits.
Water and sanitation fit for the children of Equatorial Guinea
BANEY, Equatorial Guinea, 29 February 2008 – The sight of children fetching water at the nearest river with buckets on their heads is a common scene in Baney, a small town situated in the outskirts of Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea.
Key delegates gather in Tokyo as part of the International Year of Water and Sanitation
TOKYO, Japan, 26 February 2008 – As the International Year of Sanitation continues, Japan took the lead in efforts to scale up humanitarian interventions when key delegates met for a sanitation symposium held at United Nations University in Tokyo last Friday.
Bringing good hygiene to rural Bangladesh through ‘Para Centres’
BARAICHARI, Bangladesh, 22 January 2008 – In a classroom made of tin in the Baraichari Village preschool, five-year-old Umenu Marma and her friend clap each other’s hands and sing along to the beat. However, this typical children’s game has a twist – these girls are singing a rhyme their teacher taught them about good hygiene, which translates as, “If you don’t brush your teeth regularly they will hurt, but if you brush regularly, you can eat anything.”
East Asian leaders commit to improving toilets and hygiene
BEPPU CITY, Japan, 3 December 2007 – More than 170 delegates from 14 East Asian nations gathered last weekend in Beppu City, on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, for the first East Asia Ministerial Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene.
International Year of Sanitation 2008: A plea for dignity and health for all
NEW YORK, USA, 21 November 2007 – Almost 2.6 billion people worldwide, 980 million of them children, lack access to even the most basic water and sanitation facilities – a situation that affects all aspects of their lives, from education to national development.
'Progress for Children': New house, new garden and new chance at a healthy life in Aceh
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 21 November 2007 – If you ask Mega where her original house was located, she points to the ground under her feet. “You are standing on it,” she says. Mega’s house, like most of the homes in her community, was destroyed during the earthquakes and tsunami that struck this coastal region on 26 December 2004.
Illness rises as desperate residents seek safe water in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, 14 November 2007 – Twice each day, 72-year-old Emily Ncube struggles to hoist a 25-litre bucket of water onto her head. It is a gruelling chore for the frail women but a better option, she says, than making another trip to the clinic with a sick grandchild.
UNICEF-supported project brings year-round safe water to Paraguay’s semi-arid region
NAZARETH, Paraguay, 12 November 2007 – Like many communities in Paraguay’s semi-arid region, Nazareth receives nearly all of its rain between the months of November and March. During this time, safe drinking water is plentiful.
UNICEF works to improve access to safe water and sanitation in rural Mongolia
ULGII, Mongolia, 28 September 2007 – Twice a year, here in the capital of Mongolia’s westernmost province, Khuangan grabs a shovel, ties a cord around his waist and descends into the darkness to keep the water supply flowing.
Ceramic water filters improve water quality for rural communities in Myanmar
YANGON, Myanmar, 28 August 2007 – “I am not the only one who prefers to drink water from the tap of the blue bucket,” says Ma Eh Wah, a mother of two children who lives in A Pyin The Phyu village in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar.
National Pact reaffirms Brazil’s commitment to 13 million children in impoverished areas
BRASILIA, Brazil, 27 June 2007 – The lives of 13 million children living in Brazil’s impoverished semi-arid region were the focus yesterday during the signing of the second National Pact entitled, ‘A world fit for children and adolescents in the Brazilian semi-arid’.
UNICEF and European Commission support Guinea worm eradication in Ghana
ACCRA, Ghana, 15 June 2007 – At a Guinea worm containment centre in Savelugu, northern Ghana, Assana Mohammed, 10, cries out in pain. Her eyes are shut and she cannot help but try to remove the health worker’s hand from her wound. Little by little, he is extracting a long white Guinea worm from her ankle.
In Cameroon, changing attitudes and safe water mean more girls in school
MBANG, MBOUM, Cameroon, 13 June 2007 – In the village of Mbang-Mboum, traditional attitudes toward girls have long kept them out of school. Domestic chores fall to girls and women, and essential tasks like carrying water for the household take precedence over education.
School children lead sanitation drive in Nepal
GHACHOWK, KASKI DISTRICT, Nepal, 25 May 2007 - Around the countryside of the Kaski district in Nepal, school children led their communities in a sanitation drive as the Eighth National Sanitation Action Week got underway earlier this month.
UNICEF supports improved sanitation in the rebuilt homes of Aceh and Nias
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 9 May 2007 – Ibu Nuria is not happy. Even though she likes her newly built house in Klieng Cot Arun village, Banda Aceh, the facilities are incomplete. “There is no drainage system in place,” she says. “It concerns us.”
UNICEF hosts first preparatory meeting for 2008 International Year of Sanitation
NEW YORK, USA, 7 May 2007 – Proper sanitation: It’s a seemingly mundane thing that most people in the developed world take for granted. Yet at least 2.6 billion people – some 41 percent of the global population, including 980 million children – do not have access to latrines or other basic sanitation facilities.
Lack of adequate sanitation triggers child health concerns in Cambodia
SVAY RIENG PROVINCE, Cambodia, 4 May 2007 – Rice farmer Vorn Mao is looking forward to the rainy season to flood his family's dry and dusty rice paddies. But for him and his wife Roeung, water not only provides a livelihood. It also has been the cause of some anguish.
A young environmentalist encourages positive change in the Philippines
SAN PABLO CITY, Philippines, 24 April 2007 – Fourteen-year-old Maia Azores loves to dance and play sports just like any other teenager, but what makes her stand out from other young Filipinos is her passion for environmental activism.
At Global Kids Conference, high school students debate environmental issues
NEW YORK, USA, 26 March 2007 – Six hundred teenagers gathered in New York on Friday to debate environmental issues at the 2007 Global Kids Annual Conference entitled, ‘Do you know where your environment is?’ While experts from UNICEF and other organizations helped to guide discussions, the event was entirely youth-organized and youth-led.
Palestinians cope with water scarcity in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 22 March 2007 – The drawings by hundreds of Palestinian schoolchildren were on display at a ceremony in Gaza today to mark World Water Day 2007. The 25 best drawings inspired by the theme ‘Coping with Water Scarcity’ were selected as winners during the event.
UNICEF Executive Director joins Starbucks and Ethos ‘Walk for Water’
NEW YORK, USA, 22 March 2007 – Marking international World Water Day, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman today joined more than 250 schoolchildren and hundreds of other New Yorkers in a ‘Walk for Water’ to highlight the global water crisis.
‘Clean Water’ song hits Ghana’s airwaves on World Water Day
GBURIMANI, Ghana, 22 March 2007 – In a fitting contribution to World Water Day – designed to draw attention to the water crisis affecting children and families across the globe – two of Ghana’s most popular musicians have released ‘Clean Water’, a brand new track that urges communities to consume safe water.
Lack of safe water endangers the health of Baghdad’s most deprived children
AMMAN, Jordan, 21 March 2007 – For thousands of Iraqis living in crudely built cabins in the Baghdad slums of Sab’ Qsoor, a safe drink of water used to be almost impossible to find. The area has only a few pipes to supply municipal water, and many of them are broken or contaminated.
UNICEF taps New York City restaurants to aid world water problems
NEW YORK, USA, 21 March 2007 – It’s an engineering miracle and something that’s completely taken for granted. It’s also free. It’s the tap water in New York City.
Child exploitation and Guinea worm result from lack of safe water in Ghana
ACCRA, Ghana, 14 March 2007 – Savelugu, a small town in the Savelugu-Nanton District of Ghana’s Northern Region, used to enjoy a regular supply of clean water – before the water system was no longer able to meet the needs of a growing population.
Nobel Prize-winning scientists share ideas with young leaders at BioVision Forum
LYON, France, 12 March 2007 – It's not every day that a group of children receives help on their science projects from Nobel Prize-winning scientists, especially when most of those children live in developing countries. But that's exactly what happened yesterday, the opening day of the BioVision Life Sciences Forum here, when a select group of 10 youth leaders hosted a breakfast for three Nobel Laureates.
Youth leaders brainstorm with top scientists at BioVision Forum
LYON, France, 9 March 2007 – Hannah Gama, 15, has traveled all the way from Malawi to meet some of the world’s top scientists gathering here for the BioVision World Life Sciences Forum.
Rehabilitating water systems and raising hygiene awareness in south Lebanon
HENNIYE, Lebanon, 15 February 2007 – On a bright winter day in this south Lebanese village, schoolchildren sat cross-legged on a classroom floor, eagerly watching a puppet show starring Fufu the rabbit.
Handpumps and education bring safe water and hygiene to Sudanese villages
SARAF ADEI, Sudan, 24 January 2007 – As Selma, 14, waits to fill her bucket with water at the new handpump in her village in South Kordofan State, she recalls how things were before it was installed. “My mother used to be away from the house for a long time when she went to fetch water,” she says.
Global Task Force aims to provide all children with safe water and sanitation
NEW YORK, USA, 22 January 2007 – Cherie Blair met youth delegates from India and Nigeria at UNICEF headquarters today to help start a global initiative to ensure that children everywhere have access to safe water and sanitation.
Water and hygiene facilities change lives for families in rural Viet Nam
DAI PHAC COMMUNE, Viet Nam, 17 January 2007 – During class break, Nguyen Thi Huyen, 10, and her classmates at An Thinh 1 Primary School crowd the small open area outside their new latrine and washing facilities. They wash their hands vigorously, as instructed by the teacher.
A Gambian community learns the importance of safe water
KANIFING, Gambia, 28 December 2006 – Over a year ago Ebo Town was struck by cholera, and 40,000 people were infected with the disease – one of the forms of diarrhoea that kills 2.2 million people every year, most of them children.
Safe water and a new sense of community for Central Java quake survivors
GADUNGAN PASAR, Indonesia, 14 December 2006 – Mohammad Arief injects a clear chemical from a syringe into a bucket of water drawn from a village well. His audience, mostly women and children from the village of Gadungan Pasar, watches the water with expectation.
Jay-Z presents ‘Water for Life’ – a video call to action on the global water crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 17 November 2006 – Nearly 2 million children die each year due to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation. Last night at the United Nations, American rap star Jay-Z premiered his new video diary, ‘Water For Life’, which captures his journey into areas affected by the ongoing global water crisis.
Rap star Jay-Z’s video diary to spotlight water crisis in Angola and worldwide
LUANDA, Angola, 11 October 2006 – Hip-hop idol Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, presently on an international concert tour, made a stop in Angola to produce the first segment of ‘Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life’, a video special being produced by MTV.
Protecting the water supply of Grand Comore from future volcanic eruptions
GRAND COMORE, Comoros, 9 October 2006 – UNICEF has been working with more than 100 villages on the island of Grand Comore to ensure continued access to safe, clean water following yet another eruption of the notoriously active volcano, Mount Karthala.
School clubs spread message of hygiene across South Kordofan
SOUTH KORDOFAN, Sudan, 29 September 2006 – The students in the School Hygiene Club at Kagar-Al-Mak School in the Nuba Mountains of northern Sudan are quite busy these days. They are producing drama and songs with key messages on hygiene and sanitation that they will perform for about 600 other pupils and teachers.
Miss Ghana joins hands with UNICEF to advance child health and nutrition
GHANA, 2 October 2006 – I was elected Ghana’s beauty queen last year, but long before that moment, I knew that being Miss Ghana would be far more than just a title for me. The honour and privilege of winning the contest put me in a unique position to spend my time in service to others.
Cereal banks provide food security during Niger’s ‘lean season’
GUIDON GAZOBI, Niger, 29 September 2006 – The workday is long for the women and girls of Niger. It is still early in the morning when Mahou Abdou begins her daily chores – a series of strenuous tasks, all of which she will have completed before noon.
Schoolchildren in Tajikistan learn about hygiene and pass the lessons on
BOHTAR, Tajikistan, 27 September 2006 – The students click their fingers, stamp their feet and break out into a song with a rapper’s rhythm: “It is fresh water year. / We have some messages for you. / Boil the water you drink. / Cover your water container. / We have water running. / It runs through our village. / We should always keep it safe.”
‘Progress for Children’ reports mixed results on access to water and sanitation worldwide
NEW YORK, USA, 28 September 2006 – Safe water is fundamental to human life, yet more than 1 billion people do not have access to it.
Water and hygiene aid helps Lebanese families cope in war’s aftermath
EL KHIAM, Lebanon, 25 September 2006 – This southern Lebanese border town was severely damaged during the recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. No building was left untouched. More than 70 per cent of El Khiam’s houses and three of its five schools were destroyed.
Water is plentiful but not safe enough for children in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 25 September 2006 – The mighty Congo and hundreds of lesser rivers crisscross the lush countryside here, providing plentiful water, but the legacies of a decade-long war abound.
A cleaner environment for learning in the central Philippines
CAPIZ, Philippines, 22 September 2006 – The children at San Antonio Elementary School here in the central Philippines are proof that a clean environment is the best environment when it comes to learning.
Water treatment and hygiene education protect millions in Sudan
DARFUR, Sudan, 20 September 2006 – Cases of life-threatening diarrhoeal disease, including cholera, are on the increase in a region extending from the north of Sudan to southern Darfur.
Diluting the pain of arsenic poisoning in Nepal
NAWALPARASI, Nepal, 20 September 2006 – Twelve years ago, Harilal Gupta was thrilled to finally have a tube well dug at his doorstep. Little did he know that the well water was contaminated with arsenic.
Reducing arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh
MUNSHIGANJ, Bangladesh, 11 September 2006 – Salma Begum would lie awake at night, unable to sleep for worrying about who would take care of her children if she died of cancer. Although she hadn’t been diagnosed, what else could explain the discolourings on her arms, the pain and lesions, the feeling that her skin was burning?
‘WASH’ strategy improves access to safe water and sanitation in Niger
GUIDAN GAZOBI, Niger, 8 September 2006 – Access to safe drinking water is a daily struggle for the people of Niger, especially women and girls, who are responsible for collecting water for their families.
Pakistan’s children thirsty for safer water
RAHIM YAR KHAN, Pakistan, 31 August 2006 – Surrounded by vast mango groves and freshly tilled fields, Basti Yar Muhammad, a village of 200 people in the south of Punjab Province, is bracing itself for a storm. Dark, pregnant clouds hang low and a hot wind stirs up a veil of dust. The village welcomes the rain where daytime temperatures soar.
UNICEF teams race to save children after diarrhoea outbreaks in Ethiopia and Kenya
ADALE, Ethiopia, 20 July 2006 – Abdi Kafi, 4, lies crying in his mother’s arms, weak and listless after three weeks of recurrent diarrhoea.
UNICEF and Volvic Germany provide safe water in rural Ethiopia
SOUTH GONDAR, Ethiopia, 14 July 2006 – Yezab Menge and her neighbour help each other strap large earthenware pots filled with over 15 litres of clean water onto their backs. The water is drawn with a hand pump from a well constructed in their district using funds donated by bottled-water supplier Volvic Germany through the German Committee for UNICEF.
‘Friends of WASH’ bring hygiene-friendly schools to Madagascar
MANJAKANDRINA, Madagascar, 6 July 2006 – “Hello, my name is Joe. Welcome to our school,” says a beaming eight-year-old. Following the warm reception, he gives visitors a tour and proudly shows off his school’s new latrines.
Nicaragua and Colombia: Young people help improve water safety in their communities
MEXICO CITY, Mexico, 4 April 2006 – At the Children’s World Water Forum, held in Mexico’s capital from 16 to 22 March, children reported to one another on their water and sanitation projects around the globe – including some important initiatives here in Latin America. Following are profiles of two such projects in Nicaragua and Colombia, and the young activists behind them.
Kilima’s burden: Access to water a daily struggle for women in Niger
SAFO NASSARAOUA, Niger, 23 March 2006 – Kilima Sabaou has dreams for her family. She wants to find a job to earn some extra money so she can buy food. She wants to know where her children are in the mornings and help them with basic care. But she cannot do any of this. Water is Kilima’s burden.
World Water Day: Children call for action on access to safe water
MEXICO CITY, Mexico, 22 March 2006 – On World Water Day, as the 4th World Water Forum here draws to a close, the voices of debate and discussion have fallen silent to hear and consider a clarion call to action from children.
At the Children’s World Water Forum, a girl from Kenya shares her views
MEXICO CITY, Mexico, 20 March 2006 – Yesterday, a delegation of African children attended the 4th World Water Forum, where adult decision-makers are meeting to raise awareness about global water issues. The young people have been participating in the Children’s World Water Forum, which is also being held here this week.
Children’s World Water Forum: Calling for change
MEXICO CITY, Mexico, 17 March 2006 – Dressed in the universal teenage uniform of scruffy jeans and t-shirts, the young people arriving in Mexico for the Children’s World Water Forum look as though they could be from the same school or community.
Children to speak out at World Water Forum in Mexico City
NEW YORK, USA, 16 March 2006 – Children are bearing the brunt of a global crisis that is keeping safe, clean water beyond the reach of 1.1 billion people. Because children are the most vulnerable and the hardest-hit, UNICEF believes the water situation will improve only when children’s needs are given priority and their views are heard by decision-makers.
Girls transform slum area in Bangladesh by educating their neighbours on hygienic living
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 15 March 2006 – Dolly Akter has a simple theory: “Life is for help.” The 16-year-old will have a chance to help and influence many people this week when she takes part in the Children’s World Water Forum in Mexico City.
UNICEF-supported water tanks bring clean water to communities in Monrovia
MONROVIA, Liberia, 23 February 2006 – Before the UNICEF water tanks were brought into Jallah Town, in the eastern part of the capital city, 72-year-old Jallah Kollie and his family had to spend hours each day finding enough clean drinking water for their needs.
UNICEF and ECHO bring clean drinking water to villagers in Sudan's Nuba Mountains
NUBA MOUNTAINS, Sudan, 21 February 2006 – For people living in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, central Sudan, getting enough clean water has long been a difficult task. Working with ECHO, the European Community’s Humanitarian Aid Department, UNICEF has turned the situation around, building and rehabilitating the region’s water system to ensure more than 110,000 people have access to safe drinking water.
Restoring water supplies in quake-affected Pakistan
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan, 6 January 2006 – Nearly three months after the earthquake that devastated the Pakistan-India border region, UNICEF pursues its relief efforts in the area. The distribution of clean water to affected people remains a priority. Thanks to repair work and temporary supply arrangements, the water needs of nearly 90 per cent of Pakistan’s quake-affected population – including both camp residents and city dwellers – are now being met.
WASH initiative highlights African women’s needs for improved water and sanitation
NEW YORK, 15 September 2005 – As world leaders meet at the United Nations World Summit, UNICEF is helping call attention to a problem that condemns millions of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa to a life of illness and lost opportunities: Poor access to water and basic sanitation.
Decade of Water For Life: ‘We must not fail’
NEW YORK, 21 April 2005 – The ‘Decade of Water for Life’ was launched by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York today. The Decade calls for a commitment to action in order to halve by 2015 the number of people with no access to safe water or basic sanitation.
UNICEF brings clean water to schools in Myanmar
KAWHMU, Myanmar, 11 April 2005 - Every morning, the students of Aphyauk primary school start their day with a song. But it’s not the alphabet song or a nursery rhyme. It’s a catchy tune about scrubbing well with soap and water. Lead by their teacher, Daw Khin Sein Mya, the children dance while they sing, moving their hands in small circles to demonstrate a proper scrubbing motion.
World Water Day 2005: 4,000 children die each day from a lack of safe water
NEW YORK, 20 March 2005 – Two buckets of safe water a day – 20 litres – is the bare minimum a child needs to live. This is enough for drinking and eating, washing and basic sanitation. But some 4000 children die every day, because they simply don’t have access to an adequate supply of clean water.
Water: The key to life and future development
HOUAY HID VILLAGE, Lao PDR, 25 October 2004 - Houay Hid village, in the foothills of Nam Bak district, Luang Prabang province, is surrounded by forest and fertile paddy fields. Its residents seem to have everything they need for a prosperous and healthy life.
Clean water brings health and happiness to mothers and children
MABUIA, Angola, 26 August 2004 – For as long as she can remember – from when she was a little girl to when she became a young woman and then a mother – a dominant theme in Fatima’s life was her struggle to cope with the harmful effects of unclean water.
Bad water kills 4,000 children a day
NEW YORK, 25 August 2004 - A dead fox has just been removed from a community well in southern Sudan. Unaware of the danger from contamination, the villagers continue to drink the water. They don’t realise they’re risking their lives.
Water and sanitation bring children back to school
KENYA, 25 August 2004 - Safe water and adequate sanitation in schools are as important to quality education as books and pencils. But in many schools basic facilities are not provided. As a result, children may stay away.
World not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals for sanitation
New figures from the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme show that the sanitation target of halving the number of unserved people worldwide by 2015 will not be met without a dramatic acceleration in the provision of services.
World Water Day 2004 focuses on water in emergency situations
In crisis situations, such as civil conflicts, war or natural disasters, children are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of dirty water.
Tajikistan Child Water Forum
The Government of Tajikistan is organizing the National Children’s Water Forum (non-UNICEF site, opens in a new window) to create a platform for children to discuss and speak about issues related to water, hygiene and sanitation and how children, the government and others can act in response to these issues.
Responding in Iraq
A UNICEF-supported post-conflict assessment has found that 40 per cent of the Baghdad water network is damaged a quarter of the country’s water treatment plants are in poor condition.
Promoting Children’s Participation
A first ever Children’s World Water Forum was held in conjunction with the 3rd World Water Forum (Japan, March 2003). Organized explicitly to promote learning and dialogue on what young people know and do in the sector, the CWWF provided an opportunity to examine the difference their involvement can make in the sector. 110 young delegates from 32 countries, 65% from the less developed and lower-income countries, presented their experiences and perspectives on the forum’s four primary topics: household water security, the school water and sanitation environment, emergencies, and water and culture. UNICEF co-organized the CWWF in partnership with a consortium of Japan-based NGOs.
Past newsline articles
Archive of news items on water, sanitation and hygiene from UNICEF...
World Water Day