Girls washing hands in school in Lusaka

Bridging the Gap in Global Health

Bridging the Gap in Global Health: The Critical Role of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

In our world today, billions of people are deprived of the most basic needs: clean water, hygienic sanitation and proper hygiene practices. These basics form the cornerstone of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), a triad that is essential to maintaining public health, dignity and safety.

Understanding the WASH Crisis

The statistics are alarming – more than two billion people lack access to safe water and 4.2 billion are deprived of adequate sanitation. An estimated 2.3 billion people have no way to wash their hands with soap and water, including 670 million people who have no way to wash their hands at all. This precarious situation contributes significantly to health inequalities and disease worldwide and underlines the urgent need for comprehensive WASH initiatives.

WASH: A Human Right and a Global Goal

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prioritize WASH as a fundamental human right and consider it key to a dignified existence. Achieving universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene is not just about improving health outcomes; it is about enabling communities to lead self-determined, prosperous lives.

The Impact of Effective WASH Programs

Implementing effective WASH programs has the power to transform communities. In addition to the immediate health benefits, such as reducing the spread of waterborne diseases, WASH initiatives support education: they keep children, especially girls, in school who would otherwise often drop out due to inadequate sanitation facilities. The construction of safe hygiene facilities at schools, i.e. lockable toilets and basins for washing hands, makes an important contribution to education and equal opportunities.

Joining Hands for WASH

Organizations worldwide, including non-governmental groups like BORDA, are at the forefront of bringing WASH to underserved populations. Through innovative projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, these efforts aim to provide clean water, improve sanitation, and educate communities on hygiene practices.


The challenge of WASH is vast, but the potential for positive change is even greater. By understanding the importance of water sanitation and hygiene, supporting global initiatives, and advocating for policy changes, we can make a significant impact. Together, let’s commit to advancing WASH for a healthier, more equitable world.