Written by Robyn Fischer 3:49 pm IWSH

IWSH Driving Change: Water and Sanitation Initiatives Across Diverse Landscapes

The International Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) is dedicated to advancing water and sanitation projects globally. In 2024 alone, our team and volunteers are leading a variety of initiatives that will help create transformative impact in communities spanning the Navajo Nation, Alabama, Australia, and France. Each of these projects will address unique challenges and opportunities to ensure access to clean water and proper sanitation for all.

Navajo Nation: Demonstrating Sanitation Services

In Navajo Nation, disparities in water and sanitation access underscore broader socioeconomic inequalities. Our efforts are aimed at providing improved septic systems for community buildings. This sovereign land faces profound water scarcity and sanitation issues. Through collaborative partnerships with a local non-profit, manufacturers, and tribal leaders, we’ll implement sustainable solutions that address immediate needs for the Baca Chapter, on the eastern side of the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. From upgrading plumbing systems to sanitation services, we’re working hand in hand to help the community manage wastewater more effectively and safeguard public health.

Alabama: Empowering Communities

In Alabama, many marginalized communities, particularly in rural areas, lack basic sanitation services and face disproportionate health risks. To address this, IWSH has been working with local groups and private sector partners to provide indoor plumbing upgrades and repairs that will support improved wastewater management. Through continued engagement and capacity-building programs, we’re empowering local residents to be a part of the solution for their own communities and counties. By championing community-led initiatives, IWSH is working toward a future where every Alabamian can enjoy the fundamental right to clean water and dignified sanitation.

Australia: Supporting Indigenous Healthy Country Plan

In Australia, we are committed to advancing water and sanitation projects for First Nations communities, recognizing the profound impact these initiatives have on health, dignity, and cultural preservation. This August we are working with Mimal Land Management, an indigenous non-profit organization responsible for 600,000 hectares in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. Through extensive community consultation, the group has created a Healthy Country Plan that sets goals and strategies for the surrounding community. To achieve and sustain these goals, IWSH will upgrade the current water and sanitation infrastructure at the Ranger Base outstation at Bulman Weemol, which hosts cultural programs, vocational education and training, and provides services to the local community.

France: Champions for Plumbing and Sustainability

In France, IWSH is organizing social impact and local capacity-building initiatives in support of the international Plumbing and Heating Competition to be hosted at WorldSkills Lyon 2024. This project, the latest in our series of ‘Plumbing Champions’ initiatives connected to high-profile skills competitions and other industry exhibitions around the world, will again demonstrate the next generation of skilled plumbers and their critical role in ensuring the reliability, efficiency, and safety of our water and sanitation systems. By investing in the training and development of young plumbers, we not only cultivate a skilled workforce for the present but also lay the foundation for sustainable and resilient water and sanitation infrastructure worldwide.

Conclusion: A Shared Vision for Change

Across the globe, our water, sanitation, and hygiene projects continue to promote a shared vision for a more equitable and sustainable world. By embracing diversity, fostering innovation, and empowering communities, IWSH not only addresses immediate challenges but also lays the groundwork for long-term resilience. We are committed to driving change and ensuring that every individual, regardless of geography or circumstance, has access to the resources they deserve. Together, we can turn the tide toward a brighter future for all.

Robyn Fischer
Senior Director, North America, International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation

Last modified: June 11, 2024