Synergy between drinking water, basic sanitation and hygiene

For Protos, basic sanitation and hygiene are fundamental components of any drinking water project.

Washing hands under a tippy-tap in Kerou (Benin) © Protos

The combination of access to drinking water, safe sanitation and improved hygienic practice has proven to produce the largest positive impact in matters of health. Inadequate sanitation and unhygienic use of drinking water supplies form major health hazards. Hygienic storage, use and disposal of water; maintaining water sources in a clean environment; hygienic disposal of waste and faeces are essential. Raising awareness among the population, providing them with a keener insight in the relationship between water, hygiene and sanitation, is the very first step in the development strategy Protos has adopted. This understanding of the correlation between a polluted environment and illness is often lacking. Together with the community, Protos and its partners therefore first look to improve personal hygiene and match it with a corresponding sanitary installation. Consequently, the construction of sanitary facilities is no longer an end in itself but rather the result of a change in attitude. As they are more receptive to new ideas and attitudes and tend to promote them in their families and communities, school age children form a particular focus in our educational approach.

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