- Documents and publications
Water, sanitation and hygiene: the foundation for building resilience in climate-vulnerable communities
This report, which involved input from across WaterAid, in particular from the Programme Support Unit (PSU) of WaterAid UK, includes case studies from a variety of countries, including Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, India and Nepal, each demonstrating what must be done now to improve WASH services and address current challenges, in order to increase community resilience to climate change. Climate change is already affecting rainfall and weather patterns, increasing the frequency and severity of floods, droughts, storm surges, temperature extremes, and sea level rises. As a normal part of everyday life, access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene can help people cope with these disruptions.
In collaboration with theUniversity of East Anglia's Water Security Research Centre, WaterAid undertook a study to explain how WASH builds people’s resilience to climate change, especially those who are most vulnerable to its effects. The research found that investing in clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene makes a lasting difference. While these services do not themselves ensure resilience, communities without them will struggle to cope. Key outcomes include:
- Increased household wealth from more secure or diversified employment and livelihoods
- Better WASH governance and community empowerment through strengthened social capital and safety, particularly for women
- Improved access to education and training
- Better community health