Why choose water, sanitation and hygiene?
There are 2.5 billion people in the world who do not have access to sanitation and 884 million who do not have safe drinking water. In other words, the scale of the issue is enormous and the response of developed world nations is not yet meeting that need. However, the good news is that research has shown that this is a solvable issue.

Is there need for yet another organization working on water, sanitation and hygiene?
At WASH Canada we believe there is tremendous opportunity to address the fragmentation in the WASH sector. are a number of Canadian organizations including CIDA (with an outlay of about 95 Million dollars) working on WASH. However, we are not realizing the full impact of our collective efforts due to the lack of a unified voice and strategy. We see the underlying problems as a lack of national leadership, inadequate funding, lack of public awareness, lack of coordination and knowledge exchange between stakeholders.

WASH Canada plays a unique role bringing together all stakeholders including implementers, funders and experts. We are convinced that by joining the voices and resources of all those working on WASH in Canada, will get the attention of decision makers, funders and help engage the public to leverage our collective global impact.

Does WASH Canada’s work include Native drinking water issues in Canada?
No. WASH Canada is concentrating its efforts, at the moment, on issues related to safe drinking water and sanitation in the most needy regions of the developing world. However, we understand the importance and need for addressing native water issues in Canada. Our partner the Walter Duncan and Gordon Foundation work directly on native drinking water issues. We hope to eventually strengthen the exchange of information between all stakeholders working on access to clean water and sanitation. Click here for more information. www.gordonfdn.ca

Why should Canadians care about what happens in developing world countries?
Preventing humanitarian disasters is much more cost effective than addressing them. Some would say that we are already in a crisis situation with the number of people that lack access to sanitation and clean water globally. Already, close to 4000 children die per day and there is an enormous negative health impact from water borne diseases on the GDPs of many developing world nations. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, it costs around £3.50 a person a year to enable someone to fully withstand the shocks of a disaster, compared to £150 a person for relief assistance for just three or four months (The Guardian Friday March 9, 2012). Similarly, dollars spent on strengthening water and sanitation infrastructure today will avert what could become a future global disaster.

Is WASH Canada an implementer of programs?
No we do not implement on the ground programs. We are a hub in Canada, initiating research, advocacy and awareness raising events and are coordinators in partnerships building. We are reaching out to non-traditional sectors like global health and global applied engineering to identify expertise, alternative sources of funding and Canadian led innovation. In addition, we are reaching out to the public, foundations, corporation and government to engage them on how they can be a part of the solution.