Water & sanitation (WASH)
Though access to water is a vital need, access to appropriate sanitation is just as fundamental as it preserves the environment and avoids subsequent contamination. Hygiene promotion is also one of the most effective means of prevention in relation to health risks linked to water-borne diseases. These three subjects are covered by the WASH sector which deals with water provision, and reducing health risks and the impact of water-borne diseases.
Operational methods to provide access to water can take many different forms, from supporting the water supply stations of big cities to the setting up of water trucking in refugee camps. Sanitation programmes can involve, for example, latrine construction, or support to existing sanitation and recycling sectors. Solid waste is also regularly an issue, particularly in contexts of long-term displacement.
The methods used need to be adapted to the specific characteristics of each context: is it an emergency, reconstruction or protracted crisis situation? Is it a rural or urban environment? Is it a development context or a transitional economy context? In-depth situation analysis is necessary in order to provide relevant and long-lasting solutions which avoid negative impacts on the population and their environment.
In order to practice what we preach in our numerous studies on these issues, we have installed a phyto-purification system and dry toilets at our headquarters.