WASH in Schools: A Simple Solution to a Public Health Crisis

Jan 10, 2011


There is no single intervention that will improve global health faster than providing access to clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene education to literally 1/3 of the world's population. 

The statistics are staggering. Nearly one billion people lack access to safe water. Over two billion lack access to proper sanitation. Over half of the schools in the world lack access to a latrine. 


In 2004, the World Health Organization estimated that 88% of diarrheal disease in developing nations was caused by unsafe water supplies, inadequate sanitation and hygiene. The number of school days lost due to diarrheal illness alone was 1,863,000,000. Nearly 2,000,000 children under the age of five will die this year alone due to a preventable disease such as diarrhea. There is no time to waste when “quick-wins” are in our reach.  


There is good news.  This is a solvable situation. However, it requires immediate action. There is no time to wait for the “big fix.” Small, immediate, proven steps can be taken by individuals, organizations, churches, businesses and schools to provide WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene education) at thousands of schools throughout the world.


How can you help?

H2O for Life is a 501c3 organization dedicated to bringing improved w ater, sanitation and hygiene education to schools in developing nations by engaging students, businesses, faith based organizations, fraternal clubs and others in developed nations through service-learning projects. U.S. participants learn about the global water crisis and develop an action plan to raise funds to bring water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) to their partner school. Participants learn that they can be activists for change by improving life's circumstances, educational opportunities and the health of the students at their partner school.     


In developing nations, school children need clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene education to be able to learn. Yet half of the world's schools lack safe water. More than half lack an adequate latrine. With no safe way to dispose of human waste, diseases such as typhoid, cholera, schistosomiasis and worm infections flourish. Illness related to water and sanitation kill 4,500 children a day. H2O for Life offers a solution to this solvable public health crisis. One of the most important approaches is to provide improved drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education to schools in developing countries.


It's easy to partner with a school in need in a developing country.  Please visit: www.h2oforlifeschools.org to find out how YOUR group can join us and TAKE ACTION to bring water, sanitation and hygiene education to schools in need around the world.