Introduction

WASH - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene are basic goods and essential for human life, well being and basic resources for health, economy and personal development (both physically and mentally).

Living in the 21st century, talking about the 4th industrial revolution with ‘robotics’ and Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is appalling that as many as 800 million people still lack access to safe water and more than 2 billion people (1/3 of world’s population!) suffer from inadequate water delivery. Moreover, 2,4 billion people today have no access to clean adequate sanitation services nor to environmentally healthy discharge facilities of human waste from their direct livelihood. This lack of water, proper discharge of waste streams and lack of financial means seriously affects the hygiene standards that are required to maintain healthy living conditions. Lack of adequate WASH conditions is a serious threat to health, well-being, economic welfare and a sustainable globe with natural and environmental resilience. The sketch that kick-started the timeline can be found on this page in the top banner.

Over the past several decades, ever-growing demands for – and misuse of – water resources have increased the risks of pollution and severe water stress in many parts of the world. The frequency and intensity of local water crises have been increasing, with serious implications for public health, environmental sustainability, food and energy security, and economic development. Demographics continue changing rapidly and unsustainable economic practices are affecting the quantity and quality of the water at our disposal, making water an increasingly scarce and expensive resource — especially for the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable.

Although WASH has been on the International Development Cooperation's agenda for decades, the sector is still in an alerting position. Our future, locally and globally will strongly depend on lessons learned from WASH history, its interventions and progress in development, its failures and its battle for priorities, in wash service concepts and WASH awareness and behaviour change.