An opportunity to accelerate change for hand hygiene

World Water Day 2023, which is celebrated on March 22nd, is about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis. At current rates of progress, 1.6 billion people will lack safely managed drinking water, 2.8 billion people will lack safely managed sanitation, and 1.9 billion people will lack basic hand hygiene facilities in 2030. 

This reality was observed directly by the hands4health project, through an assessment of water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in health care facilities in Mali and Burkina Faso, and in schools in Nigeria and Palestine. In Mali, for example, this assessment revealed that 12% of health care facilities did not have access to safe water, and only 10% had access to functional handwashing facilities. 

This year will be especially important as for the first time in more than 50 years, the UN 2023 Water Conference will be held to review the implementation of the objectives of the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development’ 2018-2028. Safely managed hand hygiene, which is the main focus of hands4health, will be featured in the theme dedicated to Water for Health. As part of this event, clear commitments, pledges and actions to help deliver on the water actions in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are being registered. 

Hands4health is proud to directly contribute to improving hand hygiene and WASH systems in schools and health care centres in support of the commitments by the Governments of Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria and Palestine. You can find out more about our latest updates on our website and by registering for our newsletter.  

How hands4health is accelerating change

Find out how hands4health’s work has been contributing to finding solutions to the water and sanitation crisis in the project countries:  

  • Mali: What do Malian users think of the Gravit’eau handwashing station? Learn what a recent user satisfaction survey revealed. Read the full article here.
  • Nigeria: Find out more about the World Water Day campaigns in the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and Jere Local Government Areas. Read the full article here.
  • Palestine: A project update to celebrate World Water Day, featuring the baseline data collection and WASH infrastructure rehabilitation activities, as well as insights into a comprehensive water quality study. Read the full article here

More information and resources

If you would like to find out more about how to accelerate change for achieving SDG 6, we recommend the official website of the World Water Day 2023. Useful resources include: