WASH Your Hands: How a Simple Well Helps Create a Strong and Healthy Community

Aug 15, 2017 11:25 AM ET

Clean water is one of the few things in life that never fails to live up to expectations.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of having it. Really difficult. In fact, it's probably impossible. Clean water changes almost everything.

Let's start with the obvious things. Having clean water and sanitation means being able to avoid exposure to countless diseases. Every year millions of people die from diseases caused by inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.

But the benefits of having a source of clean water in a community are much, much wider. When women and girls no longer have to walk miles to fetch water each day, they have more time to learn. Literacy rates rise. And when schools build proper toilet facilities, girls spend more time in school and less time at home.

The UN estimates that every Swiss franc invested in water and sanitation leads to CHF 4 in economic returns. Which is why investing in this area is such an effective way of creating stronger, more resilient communities.

Find out how we're working with the International Federation of the Red Cross to extend access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene across Côte d'Ivoire.

Read our story: Wash your hands - How a simple well helps create a strong and healthy community

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