5,765,986 with improved hygiene practices*

Diseases related to inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene are among the world’s most serious public health problems. Poor hygiene practices, such as not washing hands with soap or unhygienic water storage, are major contributors to ill health and the spread of disease. WSUP’s work in hygiene is primarily focused on handwashing with soap, as this has potentially the biggest impact on health. Read on for a quick round up of our work in hygiene across our six core countries.


559,776 with improved hygiene practices

In Bangladesh, WSUP is working as part of the South Asia WASH Results (SAWR) Programme to improve hand hygiene practices in partnership with Unilever Bangladesh. WSUP has supported Unilever by designing a questionnaire to assess WASH facilities in schools across 33 districts, covering over half of Bangladesh and including 14,000 rural schools and over four million children. To ensure the quality of data collected, WSUP trained around 600 Activation Agency staff for Unilever. The data enabled the launch of Unilever’s ‘School of 5’ hygiene programme in August 2014, which teaches school children to wash their hands at five critical times of the day.

The SAWR programme has also involved advocacy work, with WSUP taking part in regular lobbying of the directorate of primary education in Bangladesh and participating in dialogues at national, divisional, district, and sub-district level. Significantly, WSUP recently obtained an approval letter from the directorate encouraging field-level ministry officers to support the SAWR programme. The programme has developed a draft School Hygiene Manual for distribution to all targeted schools and WSUP staff pay regular visits to schools, demonstrating low-cost handwashing devices and providing handwashing posters.


1M people with improved hygiene practices

Working in partnership with Unilever Ghana, WSUP has helped reach over 140,000 school children in Accra and Kumasi through Lifebuoy’s ‘School of 5’ programme, as in Bangladesh. WSUP plans to reach over 1.5 million school children via the ‘School of 5’ programme before 2020, as agreed for the Dutch-funded RVO PASS project.


642,008 people with improved hygiene practices

In Kenya, WSUP is a member of the Hygiene Promotion Technical Working Group, working under the Ministry of Health. One of the core tasks of this group is to standardise hygiene messages and menstrual hygiene management across Kenya. In Naivasha, WSUP aims to achieve sustained behaviour change, using school children as change agents within families and forming health and hygiene clubs as a key strategy. Follow-up and monitoring visits have demonstrated the need for a supportive infrastructure and a regular supply of water and soap to translate training into practice. WSUP is building on existing innovations and local materials to ensure the continued supply of water, soap, and handwashing stations in the area, as well as training and engaging Community Health Workers and Public Health Officers (positions in place under the Ministry of Health) who are key pillars in achieving sustained behaviour change and monitoring hygiene practices and interventions.

In Nairobi County, WSUP is working with the Nairobi County and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) to create awareness of handwashing practices and educate target groups on hygienic water handling and storage. In partnership with NCWSC and Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) – World Bank WSP, WSUP is designing a new approach for hygiene promotion, targeting 16,000 households.


2.74M people with improved hygiene practices

In Madagascar, we have worked to make a real and important difference in a country where diarrhoeal disease is the second leading killer among children under the age of five worldwide. Numerous schools and churches have become ‘Friends of WASH’, directly benefiting over 7,650 people. These institutions spread hygiene messages within local communities and celebrate international advocacy days such as Global Handwashing Day and World Water Day.


174,238 people with improved hygiene practices

WSUP Mozambique has been working with 10 primary schools in Maputo to promote handwashing with soap. Door-to-door campaigns, communal sanitation blocks, and a roadshow have all been crucial to WSUP’s work, which is supported by the organisation’s Community Development Specialists. WSUP also promotes hygiene in all of its training activities, including in training for WASH auxiliaries in schools, CBS management committees, and activists.


642,803 people with improved hygiene practices

More than 100,000 primary school children have participated in our handwashing work through Lifebuoy’s ‘School of 5’ programme and the scheme is now gathering pace, warmly welcomed by both the schools and the Ministry of Public Health. WSUP has also trained local Neighbourhood Health Committee members to enable them to support improved hygiene practices in their communities.


*All figures are taken from WSUP’s most recent quarterly impact reports and are cumulative figures taking into account WSUP work since 2007 in these six core countries.