Having access to basic clean water and a decent toilet saves lives, reduces stunting in children, and ensures a safe food supply. But CARE’s work on water isn’t just about digging wells or building toilets. We work closely with women and schools to lead their communities in promoting critical practices like hand washing. We work with government to make sure there is long-term political commitment, good policies and allocated resources for lasting improvements. And we link with wider efforts to ensure integration with nutrition, education and adaptation to climatic shocks and disasters.
CARE places emphasis on women in all of our water work. That’s because impoverished women are disproportionately excluded from decisions regarding water’s allocation and management. CARE promotes equal decision-making power for women by strengthening women’s voices to ensure they are heard in discussions on water and sanitation at the local and national levels. Access to safe water results in women spending less time caring for family members who would otherwise fall sick due to unsafe water. Also, improved sanitation can keep a girl in school by making facilities available to her when she reaches puberty.