THE WASH APPROACH
Through various technologies, the three areas of WASH – water, sanitation, and hygiene – work together to strengthen one another and maximize health impact at the community level. For instance, the impact of clean water is dependent upon access to and use of latrines and safe hand-washing behaviors, and vice versa. All three are necessary for one to be a success. And when local leaders rise up to form water committees to lead WASH solutions and promote health from within their own communities, there is no end to the change that can take place.
We work with our local partners to provide access to clean water through a wide range of technologies. With knowledge of the local context, our partners select the technology that will be most effective in the community where they are working based on environmental, cultural, economic, and technological factors to optimize quantity, quality, access, and reliability. In many cases, a combination of technologies is required to achieve these goals.
The most common solutions include wells with hand pumps or mechanized wells, spring protection, rain catchment systems, surface catchment, and household-level filtration and treatment.
Sustainability of a water project is a fundamental but distinct component to water provision that requires community, civil society, private sector, local government, and international actors to work together to take ownership and accountability. These relationships are governed by water management plans that address technical and financial responsibilities, and establish appropriate levels of monitoring and evaluation. The most successful way to create a sustainable water project is for local leaders at community level to take ownership of and lead the project.
Latrine technologies are diverse and highly specialized. The most common latrines are ventilated improved pit latrines (VIP), composting pit latrines, and pour-flush designs.
Sanitation promotion and adoption is closely integrated with hygiene interventions and requires participatory approaches such as participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation groups or community-led total sanitation (CLTS).
Improved hygiene practices are driven by technological and behavioral interventions at the household and community levels. These interventions include hand-washing, dish drying racks, garbage pits, and latrines.
Mass trainings, household trainings, WASH committees, and the mobilization of community health workers drive the adoption of safe practices. Effective models typically use participatory methods that generate local ownership and leverage community advocates.