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To keep on track with our aim, here are five of the things we want to achieve before we hit the big 4-0:
1. Work with more of the world’s most remote communities
Meet the Kaiwa family. They live in a small community in Papua New Guinea – a country where 85% of the population live in hard-to-reach rural areas with little or no public services.
When a WaterAid program started in their community, the Kaiwas learned to build their own toilet. Now their health has improved and their children don’t get sick any more.
We already work in 38 countries across the globe, but we have plans to reach even more in the next five years – so more families like the Kaiwas can build a better future.
© WaterAid/ Tom Greenwood
“We decided to build a toilet because the important thing is health of the family. Now the children aren’t sick anymore.” Andrew Kaiwa with his family in Papua New Guinea.
2. Make more friends (and influence people)
After 35 years, if there's one thing we’ve learned, it’s that we can achieve more by working together.
When we partner with other organizations – big and small – we can share expertise and reach more people than ever before with vital taps and toilets.
Meanwhile, working with governments means we can make sure water, sanitation and hygiene are integrated into essential plans for education, health and housing.
That means more amazing moments like this one in 2015, when – after years of working with the Nepalese government – the right to taps and toilets was enshrined as a right in the country’s new constitution:
3. Help the world’s poorest people cope with climate change
Since WaterAid began, the world’s poorest people have been hardest hit by floods, droughts and monsoons as our climate changes – and are finding themselves without the resources to deal with these threats.
We’re committed to providing practical solutions to help communities cope, like household rainwater harvesting tanks, which can provide a family with drinking water for three months, and raised toilets, which won’t contaminate water supplies during heavy floods.
Critically, we also want to empower more people to hold their governments to account, to make sure they provide the support people need to deal with the challenges caused by climate change.
© WaterAid/ Habibul Haque
We’re working to empower more people like Naznin, who lives in the flood-prone region of Paikgacha, Bangladesh, to express their concerns about climate change.
4. Get the world to look differently at drilling
Here comes the technical one! If we want to make sure every borehole drilled has the best chance of providing water for years to come, we need to drive up standards in the water supply industry – and that’s no mean feat. Even picking the right place to get started can be a challenge, as this animation shows:
What makes it all worthwhile? Simple. Creating a world where we know the wells, taps and toilets we help to build are here to stay.
5. Leave no one behind
When we say we want to reach everyone everywhere, we mean it.
Around the world, we work hard to promote the rights of marginalized people, and to make sure all the services we provide are accessible to everyone – including people like Aguti.
She lost an arm when she was attacked at home in the Amuria district, Uganda, by members of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
“The nearest water source is about three kilometers away. People like me, living with a disability, will always find it challenging to go there and carry water home,” she says.
“My life changed when I got a rainwater harvesting tank. Now we don’t have to walk far to collect water. The water from the tank is good. We can use it for all our household chores."
© WaterAid/ James Kiyimba
Aguti uses the rainwater harvesting tank that changed her life.