Some 750 million people worldwide have to live without access to clean water and 2.4 billion people in total still do not have basic sanitation facilities, according to World Health Organization. Johanniter aims to integrate preventative hygiene measures into all its health projects and supports the construction, maintenance and accessibility of adequate drinking water and sanitation facilities.
In humanitarian relief, the acronym WASH stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. This also encompasses the disposal of waste and waste water. Some of our interventions require specialist engineering knowledge, such as the laying of waste water pipes or drilling wells and building placenta pits in health stations. Other activities involve training health workers to disseminate information within communities in a targeted way. For instance, Johanniter uses this approach to promote regular and thorough hand-washing in all of its projects. Several studies indicate that almost half of all cases of diarrhoeal disease worldwide could be prevented if clean water and soap were available and regular hand-washing was practiced. Hand-washing is particularly essential after contact with faeces or prior to touching food. Johanniter also distributes hygiene kits to ensure that soap is adequately available.
Johanniter‘s WASH guidance notes contain all the necessary information for its staff on how they can best pass on the relevant information to the communities. In cooperation with other organisations, Johanniter also provides workshops on how to prepare for activities in its projects. Up to now, 17 employees from Johanniter’s country offices and local partner organisations have received training in “WASH in emergencies”. These workshops aim to convey knowledge and support networking. Participants can also share experiences and discuss solutions to common problems on a local level.