Andrex Angola

Andrex® partners with UNICEF to help save lives in Angola

Clean water, basic hygiene and sanitation – collectively referred to as WASH – are essential for the survival and dignity of people around the world. Despite being a basic human right, clean water and adequate sanitation is tragically not available to millions around the world; especially the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

It is hard to imagine that today there are around 2.4 billion people who do not have access to improved sanitation, and 663 million who do not have access to improved water sources (1). Without these basic requirements, the lives of millions of children are at risk. Children under the age of five are especially at risk, as water- and sanitation-related diseases are one of the leading causes of death. Every day, over 800 children die from preventable diseases caused by poor water and a lack of sanitation and hygiene. (2)

Angola, a country of roughly 23 million people in Southern Africa, has tried to move forward after 27 years of brutal civil war yet remains a struggling country with high levels of poverty, maternal and children under age five mortality rates, and one of the worst sanitation problems in the world. The most recent National Census figures (2014) report that more than 10 million people lack access to improved sanitation, with the majority of the unserved living in rural areas, where only one in four has access to adequate basic sanitary services (3). Open defecation rates average 40 percent nationally, with 74 percent open defecation found in rural areas. Only 36 percent of the population report that they wash their hands after defecation. As a result, contamination remains widespread in Angola, with frequent cholera outbreaks and a high level of deaths in children under age five caused by caused by diarrhoeal diseases – the vast majority of these caused by poor sanitation and hygiene [4]. The good news is that this can be improved and lives can be saved.

Andrex®, the UK’s leading toilet tissue brand, is partnering with UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, to help tackle the sanitation problem in Angola. The Andrex® and UNICEF partnership is funding a Community Led Total Sanitation programme in Angola that provides knowledge and resources for children and their families about the importance of sanitation and helps them build their own clean, safe toilets. With knowledge and resources, communities are empowered to develop their own clean and safe toilets stopping the spread of dangerous, often fatal disease and also providing people with dignity and respect

Andrex Angola

Edson Monteiro, Water and Sanitation Officer for UNICEF engages with the Waleca Village on issues of hygiene and sanitation during the Andrex® and UNICEF field trip, May 2016. Photo credit: Slingshot Media


Tom Berry, head of sustainability for EMEA at Kimberly-Clark commented:

“Every child deserves a safe and clean toilet. Lack of basic sanitation affects people’s dignity and escalates the spread of life-threatening diseases that can be fatal to children and their families. My recent trip to Angola highlighted how people are positively affected by partnerships like this. In the three-year partnership, Andrex® and UNICEF are aiming to raise £600,000 and impact over 180,000 lives in Angola.”

Andrex Angola

Victorina Tchinhngala, 13 years old from Waleca, an open defecation free village washes her hands outside their latrine during the Andrex® and UNICEF field trip, May 2016 demonstrating how Andrex® funding into safe sanitation is impacting the lives of children and families in Angola. Photo credit: Slingshot Media

Women carrying water in rural Ethiopia

WaterAid: Providing Safe Water and Sanitation in Ethiopia

Water is essential to life. Without water, humans and our world would not survive. Yet, 11% of the world’s population –  783 million people –  do not have access to safe water. Although many people living in the western world including myself often take water, sanitation and hygiene (collectively known as “WASH”) for granted, there are millions of people around the world who do not.

In fact, the figures are shocking:

  • 2.5 billion people – almost 35% of the world’s population – do not have access to adequate sanitation. (WHO/UNICEF)
  • More than 500,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – that’s almost 1,400 children a day. (WaterAid 2012/WHO 2008/The Lancet 2012*)
  • The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly 40 pounds, the same as an airport luggage allowance.
  • Providing water, sanitation and hygiene together reduces the number of deaths caused by waterborne diseases by an average of 65%. (WHO)

When I was in Ethiopia this past June, I witnessed firsthand the drastic unavailability of water and sanitation services. It could be seen every time I left the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa, and headed out along the roads leading to the rural population which make up 90% of Ethiopia’s 90 million people. Woman walking for hours with yellow jerricans on their backs. Mule carts loaded with empty and full jerricans. Even children carrying jerricans and walking miles in search of safe water.

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The things we take for granted: Access to safe water

Today’s post is a guest post written by Sarah Dobsevage, Institutional Development Manager of WaterAid America. The post is about her recent experience in Senegal when a water pipeline broke down causing severe water shortages throughout Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. 


The author, Sarah, with her mom, Ruth, and daughters, Meira, standing, and Talia, in her arms, in Saly. Photo credit: Sarah Dobsevage


As a mom, as a professional and as someone who loves to dive deeply into new cultures and experiences through travel, I’ve had an admittedly good lot in life.  I have two beautiful daughters, a tremendously fulfilling job at an international non-profit called WaterAid, and the opportunity to spend time overseas in support of WaterAid’s programs that are helping poor communities in 27 countries across the world get access to toilets and clean drinking water.

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Guest Post: On the Ground in Madagascar with WaterAid

Clean water and sanitation are a worldwide problem that impacts millions around the globe. The figures are startling and unimaginable. Per WHO/UNICEF estimates, 783 million people  (11% of the world’s population) in the world do not have access to safe water. 2.5 billion people (35% of world’s population) in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation. Tragically, around 700,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – that’s almost 2,000 children a day.

WaterAid is one of the world leaders in providing clean water and sanitation throughout the developing world. I have been honored to see their work on the ground during a May trip to India and have been sharing stories about their amazing work around the globe on my blog. Earlier this summer, I shared a story about the work WaterAid is doing in Madagascar to provide toilets and taps to school children.

Over the summer, WaterAid has worked to to reach 12,000 children in 31 schools by providing 150 taps and 100 toilets in Madagascar. Ernest Randriarimalala a field officer with WaterAid visited one of the projects in mid-July and I’m honored to share his update of the progress that has been made on the ground below.

Per Randriarimalala, “A key element of the photos here is about the hopes, dreams and potential for the future of the children in this primary school in Tsimahavaobe village. Some photos show children drawing and presenting their drawing of what they want to be when they grow up“. I hope you find this report inspiring of the the good we can do by giving people the simple luxury of safe water and sanitation.

WaterAid Madagascar

Children who have been helped by WaterAid’s work in Madagascar. Photo credit: Ernest Randriarimalala/WaterAid.

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Water for the World

When I was in India this past May with Mom Bloggers for Social Good, I saw firsthand how safe drinking water and sanitation needs impact people living in extreme poverty. I spent a scorching afternoon with temperatures climbing almost to 120 degrees Fahrenheit touring one of WaterAid’s work sites, an unauthorized slum named the Vivekananda Camp.

Vivekananda Camp.

Women living outside the Vivekananda Camp, an unauthorized slum that ironically is located right behind the walls of the American Embassy in Delhi.

At this one location, the people had been fortunate to finally receive somewhere safe and hygienic to use the bathroom. A community toilet compound. Although the slum did not have running water, at least it had somewhere people could go to take care of their bodily needs and help eliminate the spread of deadly diseases and the horrible humiliation of open defecation.

As I stood outside the Community Toilet Complex (CTC), I couldn’t help but rest my eyes on a painfully slow-moving woman. A woman who had undoubtedly spent her entire life living within the confines of a slum. She was hunched over and bent on her cane and slowly dragged her feet across the ground, one step at a time, as she left the Community Toilet Complex we had just toured.

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WaterAid Providing Taps and Toilets for Madagascar’s children

Close your eyes for a minute and picture Madagascar. What do you see? I see miles upon miles of pristine beaches, lush green tropical forests, exotic flora and fauna and brilliant blue sea. Madagascar, an island nation of 22 million people off the southeastern coast of Africa is home to several exotic species, 90% of which are unique to the country. Because of its isolation from other landmasses, most of Madagascar’s mammals, half its birds, and the majority of its plants exist nowhere else on earth.

This former French colony who gained their independence in 1960 is also home to a lesser, more ugly reality: Poverty. According to the World Bank, 69% of the population of Madagascar lives below the national poverty line threshold of one dollar per day (2011 statistic). With poverty brings hunger, malnutrition, disease, hardship and also lack of services such as access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Although running water, electricity and sanitation are provided by the government, sadly these services do not reach all the people. Based on 2010 estimates only 34% of the rural population have access to an improved water source (World Bank).  Sanitation fared worse: 79% of the urban and 88% of the rural population live with unimproved sanitation services (2010 estimates from the CIA World Factbook).

Not having safe drinking water or adequate sanitation is a major hurdle in receiving an education. In a country with only 64.5% literacy rates, education is a key to lifting people out of poverty yet what child, especially a girl, would want to go to school without a toilet?

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Last week WaterAid launched an exciting summer campaign to help provide proper sanitation and safe drinking water to Madagascar’s children. Over the next couple of months, WaterAid aims to reach 12,000 children in 31 schools by providing 150 taps and 100 toilets in Madagascar. What is so wonderful about this campaign is that all summer long you can follow the stories and updates of the children who will be impacted as well as the progress of the construction through the celebration on September 19th when the children return to school with taps and toilets for the very first time.  

Project Sekoly: Improving School Water and Sanitation in Madagascar

In Madagascar only 41% of the population has access to safe water and 11% to sanitation. We’ve been working here since 1999 and have helped more than 177,000 gain access to safe water and 145,000 to sanitation.  – WaterAid
Tsimahavaobe primary school in the town of Morondava is one of many schools in Madagascar with no toilets, no supply of safe water, and nowhere for pupils to wash their hands. We are asking supporters to join Project Sekoly, to help fund sustainable water and sanitation facilities for desperately poor schools in Madagascar. Your support will ultimately result in the poorest children in Madagascar staying healthy, gaining a better education and having the opportunity to achieve their potential. – WaterAid
What you can do?

Over the next few weeks you can follow the story as children in Madagascar get the water and sanitation they need to keep them healthy enough to build their dreams.

Follow their story on Twitter at the hashtag #buildfutures

About WaterAid:
WaterAid was founded in 1981 and works tirelessly to provide clean water and sanitation for Africa, Asia and Central America. Since its inception, WaterAid has dramatically changed lives and has worked closely together with local organizations, communities and individuals, to employ affordable and locally appropriate solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to people in developing countries

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In the Background: Life in a Delhi Slum

Behind the beautiful, lavish parts of Delhi always lies the most abject poverty imaginable. I have read several books on the slums of India and thought I’d know what to expect when I saw them in person. Yet nothing I’d ever seen in all my years of travel could have prepared me for the stark reality of desperation, misery and despair of walking through a real live slum in the heart of India’s capital.


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Moms advocate for safe water: Recap of World Water Day 2013

Last Friday, March 22 was World Water Day 2013, a powerful day of advocacy and awareness worldwide about the importance of safe water and sanitation. As part of the Global Team of 200, a group of social good mom bloggers from across the country who concentrate on women and girls, child hunger, and maternal health, I wrote my piece titled “Coming together for World Water Day“.


Photo credit: WaterAid

Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good and The Global Team of 200 wrote this piece today on the popular blog site Babble called “Mom Bloggers in the Importance of Water” which documents the work our volunteer team of social good mom bloggers did for World Water Day 2013. I was honored to read it and wanted to share it with you all.

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Coming together for World Water Day, Friday March 22

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This Friday, March 22, is World Water Day – a day delegated by the United Nations to recognize the importance and need of safe water around the world. In honor of this important day, I am thrilled to be working with the Global Team of 200 and WaterAid to help raise awareness of the desperate need for safe drinking water and sanitation around the world. Safe water and sanitation transforms lives and is one of the keys to bringing people out of poverty.


Water is just the beginning because… it helps build a more prosperous future. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of $4 is returned in increased productivity, thanks to time saved and better health. Photo Credit: WaterAid.

Did you know that 783 million people do not have access to safe drinking water?

Step back and think about this statistic for a moment. What would you do if you were not able to simply turn on your faucet and fill up your glass or pot with clean, safe water?


Until recently, Ayelech, a 22-year-old mother of two living in Lehayte, Ethiopia spent over two hours a day searching for water and carrying it home in two large jerry cans on her back. She gave birth to her second child Oytiba while on the side of river filling her cans. Photo credit: WaterAid.

What would you do if you had to spend an hour or two each and every day fetching clean drinking water?


With a safe water source close to home, people in the world’s poorest countries have a lot more time and water to cultivate crops, saving money and improving their diets at the same time. Photo credit: WaterAid.

How would you manage? How would you live your life? And more importantly, how would you care for your family?


School-age children spent their days scrambling up narrow rocky trails, carrying home dirty water instead of going to school. Photo Credit: WaterAid.

To most of us in the Western world, the thought of not having instant access to clean, safe drinking water is literally unimaginable. However, for 11 % of the world’s population, this is a tragic reality. When you combine having unsafe drinking water with poor sanitation, it leads to diarrhea which kills 2,000 children every single day. Something completely unthinkable to many of us.


Every day, millions of women walk miles to fetch water, often carrying a child too. When the child gets too heavy to carry, they are left at home, often unsupervised. Photo credit: WaterAid.

Millions of people are trapped in a world in which clean, fresh and safe water is not even a remote option and has led to dire consequences. Preventable deaths and diseases, wasted time spent fetching water each day, lack of access for girls to education due to no adequate sanitation, and lower economic output for the nations without safe water and sanitation. Not having safe water or sanitation keeps people trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty with little chance of escape.


Water really is just the beginning…..these children are thrilled with their recently constructed toilet that provides them with good sanitation and privacy. Safe water really helps keep girls in school too. Photo credit: WaterAid.

But there is hope as the problem of unsafe drinking water is entirely solvable.

This Friday, join WaterAid and the Global Team of 200 to help spread the word about global water poverty. There are a variety of ways you can participate in this day and help spread awareness.

How you can help:

  • Follow WaterAid on Twitter and Facebook and share our posts on the #20ways that water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty. Also follow along with the Twitter has tag #WorldWaterDay 2013 for the latest news.
  • Join the World Water Day Google+ Hangout at 1.30pm EST/ 5:30PM GMT on Friday, March 22 at  – WaterAid and other leading water organizations (such as  +charity: water,, +Water For People, +People Water) will be discussing the world water crisis and solutions in a celebration moderated by YouTube star Justine Ezarik and WaterAid America’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, Lisa Schechtman (@LSchecht).
  • Make a donation: as experts in practical, hands-on water solutions WaterAid has brought clean water to 17.5 million people. But we need your help to achieve our aim of helping 1.4 million more people this year.

Please also watch WaterAid’s beautiful video “Water is Just the beginning” and share it.

Lives are transformed when hours spent carrying water are instead spent with family, tending crops, raising livestock or starting a business. Simple access to water, toilets, and hygiene education keeps families healthy, women and girls safe, and children in school. In communities around the world, WaterAid has helped 17.5 million people take the first steps out of poverty.

Together we can make the world a better place!


Photo credit: WaterAid.

Visit for all the latest World Water Day news. To learn more about WaterAid’s work and statistics, please click here. 

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WaterAid: Imagine life without access to clean water

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All photos credited to WaterAid and used with permission.

Can you imagine living a life without access to clean water or sanitation? Something as basic yet critical as clean water and access to a toilet is a luxury that many people around the world in developing nations simply don’t have.

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