Water and Sanitation

Concern works to ensure that the two of the most basic and essential building blocks of a safe and healthy life — clean water and sanitation — are available to those who need them most.

Water and Sanitation

Without access to clean water and effective sanitation, those who carry the burden of poverty will continue to struggle for survival. Waterborne disease is seen as the biggest killer in the world today, taking a greater human toll than war, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction combined. It is a core part of our mission to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable people get the basics they need to build better lives.

The problem is complex and has many different contexts. We work with people suddenly displaced by war or climate shock, who have immediate and urgent need for clean water. We supply water via truck, construct temporary water points and latrines and provide hygiene items. We also work hand in hand with hundreds of communities  to help them assess the longstanding challenges they face, change behaviors, build needed permanent infrastructure such as wells, pump systems and latrines, and ensure the infrastructure will be maintained for the long term.

How We Do It


Concern is leading research into the potential of the widely grown Moringa tree in Tanzania as a low-cost solution to purifying water. The tree’s nut is ground up and added to dirty water. Pollutants cling to the powder and sink to the bottom, leaving potable water on top. This is only one example of the ways in which Concern uses fresh thinking and research to help communities save and improve lives.

Women & Children

Every day, millions of women and children in developing countries walk several hours a day to collect water that is often unsafe to drink. Unclean water causes millions of people–especially young children–to contract potentially deadly waterborne diseases yearly. We lose an estimated 4,100 children under the age of five each day because of diarrhea. Water and sanitation programs are key to Concern’s efforts to fight back.

Community Empowerment

We work with communities to raise awareness of good hygiene practices, and we offer training to manage and maintain local water sources. We also partner with community members to build household and school latrines, boreholes, rainwater harvesting systems, groundwater wells and other water structures. Our work builds upon traditional community structures, and is designed to be sustainable in the long term.