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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

Workshopping the new national guiding principles for sanitation in Cambodia 19 November, 2019 - A key focus of our recent work in Cambodia has been the development of National Guiding Principles on Sanitation in Challenging Environments for Rural Households, a highly consultative process involving government (national and provincial), NGOs, UNICEF, WHO, organisations representing people with disabilities, gender stakeholders and communities themselves.  The Guiding Principles were endorsed in June 2019 and… read more
How demonstration toilets inform the socialisation of Vanuatu’s sanitation and hygiene guidelines 19 November, 2019 - On Vanuatu’s 85 islands, many people live in challenging sanitation environments, including areas that are drought or flood-prone, coastal, on hard rock, with high groundwater or in difficult social contexts. Sanitation issues in Vanuatu are exacerbated by natural disasters like category five Cyclone Pam, which caused severe damage to buildings and critical infrastructure in 2015.… read more
Shona-Field-placement Meet an EWB Field Professional – Shona Fitzgerald 5 September, 2019 - Pictured: Shona gets hands-on for construction of a prototype latrine design for high groundwater areas in Cambodia Name: Shona Fitzgerald Position: WASH Technical and Strategy Mentor Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tenure: July 2018-December 2019 What’s your engineering history? I originally studied a Bachelor of Arts in French and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Towards the… read more