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Water. Sanitation. Hygiene.

The United Nations supports the fundamental human right to access safe, secure, dignified and affordable water and sanitation services. EWB Australia works to improve this through our WASH program.

1/3 of worlds population

does not have access to adequate sanitation

783 million people

live without safe drinking water

Over 2 billion people

lack access to a toilet

EWB Australia’s work focuses on disadvantaged communities in Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Australia to further SDG #6 – clean water and sanitation for all. Lack of access to clean water and toilets, the practice of open defecation, and lack of education in basic cleanliness all increase the risk of disease – resulting in ill health, malnutrition, stunting and poor development outcomes for communities.

Challenging environments compound these issues, because even when standard WASH systems are available, these designs typically don’t work in areas prone to flooding, high groundwater or drought. This makes it even harder for these communities to access safe water and good sanitation. Our Sanitation In Challenging Environments (SCE) projects place a particular solutions-focus on these areas. 

What do we do?

EWB Australia’s development approach is to support the implementation of activities through capacity building, adopting community-led design and engagement. Guided by our Australian-based staff, in-country staff, and Field Professional volunteers, EWB Australia’s WASH team supports, trains and mentors local technical practitioners, through partnering with more than 10 WASH partners across Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.

We foster long-term relationships with these local partner organisations, in consultation with communities. Our contribution strengthens the successful implementation of these WASH initiatives, which have an immediate impact on local communities. 

Our work

Our work focuses on providing specialist technical capacity – design, pro-typing, testing, construction, maintenance, training and education – for appropriate water and sanitation systems. We also work with governments to develop, endorse and support the implementation of sanitation guidelines and policies, across a range of projects. 

This program is supported by ANCP and Australia Aid.

Stories of Impact

Disposable Nappy Ban Vanuatu: World First Disposable Nappy Ban 15 December, 2020 - Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) is working with local organisation, Mama’s Laef and Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health to implement Vanuatu’s world first disposable nappy ban. Vanuatu is setting out to become the first nation to ban disposable nappies. With an estimated 20,000 babies and toddlers on Vanuatu’s 65 islands, disposable nappies are the single largest… read more
Engineering Possibilities Webinar Q&A 13 November, 2020 - During our Engineering Possibilities Webinar Q&A, held on Wednesday November 4th, 2020, we received many insightful questions and whilst we attempted to provide as many answers as possible, there were a handful we couldn’t get to. We've answered these outstanding questions below.  If you missed the Engineering Possibilities Webinar, you can view the recording here.… read more
Let’s flatten the curve, and let’s make the next curve flatter 28 June, 2020 - EWB Board Member Peter McArdle reflects on COVID-19 and where it lands in the humanitarian-development nexus. Never before has the public been so captivated by a graph. Sure, engineers are used to taking solace in the comfort of a curve, but this is not… typical, shall we say, of the broader community. I’ve found it… read more