Water and sanitation

Saving lives with safe, clean water

Photo: ©UNHCR/Anita Corluka

Access to safe water and sanitation is a basic human right. But when people flee their homes, they often find themselves in places without clean drinking water, proper toilets and or adequate drainage systems.

This has grave implications for their safety – forcing women to make long, dangerous journeys to fetch water and putting families at risk of deadly water-related diseases like cholera.

That’s why UNHCR is hard at work in camps, outside of camps and amongst urban refugee populations – running life-saving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes and delivering clean water and sanitation services to millions of vulnerable people.

Our supporters help fund

Safe clean water

to for families to drink, wash and cook with

Sanitation facilities

to stop the spread of deadly diseases.

Tippy taps in Tanzania

These children attend a school for Burundian refugees in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, Tanzania. There’s a shortage of classrooms but at least pupils now have a safe, hygienic way to wash their hands – thanks to clever ‘tippy taps’ installed with the help of UNHCR and its partners.

Tippy taps are especially appropriate for rural areas with no running water and are operated by a foot lever, so there’s less chance of transmitting bacteria from hand to hand. They’re just one of the ways that UNHCR is encouraging good hygiene, reducing the spread of disease and protecting refugee families, all over the world.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Georgina Goodwin

Did you know that walking long distances to fetch water puts women at greater risk of attacks and sexual violence?


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