World Vision International
Blog • Sunday, March 19th 2017

Can WASH promote happiness?

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Monday, 20 March marks the International Happiness Day. What an absolutely wonderful idea indeed to spread more happiness around also in our schools, health care facilities, refugee camps and other WASH away from home settings!

By Marielle Snel, WASH Technical Advisor, Middle East/Eastern Europe Region

UNIVERSAL WATER, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) coverage will remain a pipe dream until our sector starts sharing its experiences of non-household WASH programming. The industry currently knows too little about best practice in such non-domestic settings as healthcare facilities, transportation hubs, places of worship, refugee camps and prisons. This may be due to the fact that we tend to keep our learnings to ourselves.

Pooled knowledge about non-domestic WASH successes and failures will inevitably form the bedrock of advocacy and consensus building around this work. This is vital because, to achieve success in WASH away from home programming, our sector needs additional political support, stakeholder participation, project funding and institutional support.

To this end World Vision has committed itself to collating and sharing, particularly through our external webinars and creating an evidence building plan to reflect the importance of WASH in non-domestic settings. By the end of 2017, we aim to have a substantial library of learning on this issue hosted on our website for everyone associated with delivering WASH to use.

We hope more people will be willing to join us as we seek to leverage our combined knowledge to all do a better job in ensuring WASH in non-domestic settings and to ultimately achieve SDG 6 – ensuring access to water and sanitation for all. So on this international day of happiness let us keep in mind how lucky we all are but also remember the opportunity each of us have, in our own way, as part of the human community to strive towards making universal water, sanitation and hygiene coverage for all in different settings beyond the home a reality and thereby creating even more happiness for all!

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