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Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

A toilet, clean water, and soap for washing are basic needs. For many people in our project regions, however, these things are not to be taken for granted. A third of the world’s population has no access to sanitary facilities, although a functioning water supply and sanitation system, as well as the opportunity to take basic hygiene measures are essential for a healthy life.

That is why despite our focus on health, our projects in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) form a cornerstone of our work. By taking an integrated approach to health and incorporating components from the fields of health, nutrition and WASH, we can provide simple and effective solutions with a high level of resilience to natural disasters and crises, which can be implemented by local communities themselves. We take extra care to ensure that WASH measures include women, girls, and members of other potentially marginalized groups, such as elderly and disabled people. Simple measures like building a toilet or a well, installing a rainwater collection system, or providing hygiene training can improve life tremendously, and by providing protection from deadly disease, potentially save it as well.

Ensuring quality at all levels

As a member of the German WASH Network, Malteser International is committed to providing access to a sustainable supply of clean water, appropriate sanitary facilities and hygiene practices to all. Our projects offer measures that are specially designed to focus on menstrual hygiene as well as the special needs of girls, women, older people, and people with disabilities.

Malteser International is also member of SuSanA (Sustainable Sanitation Alliance), which is an open network with members who are dedicated to understanding viable and sustainable sanitation systems. 

You can find more detailed information in our WASH Guidelines, which are available for download on our publications page.


Roland Hansen
Email: roland.hansen(at)malteser-international.org

Global Program on WASH and Human Rights in India, Nepal and Uganda

Although water and sanitation are human rights, 2.2 billion people worldwide still don’t have access to clean drinking water. 4.2 billion people lack access to safe sanitation. Socio-economic inequalities, scarcity of resources, lack of sustainability, marginalization of rights holders and conflicts present only some of the reasons why so many people are still denied access to clean water. Recent approaches such as Making Rights Real (MMR) and WASH Systems Strengthening offer promising solutions by addressing these problems and including rights holders in decision-making processes.

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Menstruation: hygiene, health and education

Menstruation is a completely natural process. Every day, an estimated 300 million people menstruate. And yet menstruation is still a taboo topic worldwide. Girls and women who have their periods experience stigmatization and exclusion in many regions. For example, due to the taboo nature of the subject, many do not dare to go to school or work while they are menstruating. Some 500 million women and girls do not have access to the resources they need to manage their menstruation with dignity and health. Malteser International therefore advocates for improvements in menstrual hygiene and health, especially in countries of the Global South, and tries to counteract the taboo of menstruation, which is also a reality in countries of the Global North.

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Examples of our WASH projects

Help to give people in need the chance for a life in health and dignity!
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