| ||organisation: WaterAid|
type of activity: clean water and sanitation provision programmes
who: WaterAid is an international non governmental organisation dedicated exclusively to the provision of safe domestic water, sanitation and hygiene education to the world's poorest people. WaterAid works in both rural and urban areas, and currently has programmes in 15 countries in Africa and Asia. In each project and country the circumstances are different; however, there are common features that can be applied to any WaterAid project.
beliefs: in every project, WaterAid’s response is guided by a set of criteria and beliefs:
how: WaterAid works by helping local organisations set up low cost, sustainable projects using appropriate technology that can be managed by the community itself. The association also seeks to influence the policies of other key organisations, such as governments, to secure and protect the right of poor people to safe, affordable water and sanitation services.
- clean water and sanitation are essential for life and all people should have affordable access to them;
- water, sanitation and hygiene education must be integrated to give maximum health benefits;
- decision-making must be delegated to local partner organisations and communities as far as possible, to avoid dependency and encourage sustainability;
- local people must be actively involved in planning, constructing, managing and maintaining their own projects;
- focus should be on the most vulnerable poor people, especially women and children;
- the technologies used should be appropriate and cost effective;
- the cost per beneficiary should be kept low;
- focusing on long-term development is crucial, but WaterAid will endeavour to respond to natural disasters and emergency situations in the places where it works;
- it is appropriate to seek support and approval from local and national authorities for WaterAid-funded work.
getting involved: WaterAid is independent and relies heavily on voluntary support. Throughout the year individuals, companies, schools and community groups take part in, or organise, a whole range of events to raise money for WaterAid. One of them is the “Cellphone recycling scheme”: this initiative can help you dispose of your old phone whilst benefiting both the environment and those in the developing world without access to clean water and sanitation.
Participating in the scheme is easy. All you have to do is collect old or unused cellphones from friends, family and workmates. Once you have ten or more (this rises to 30 or more if you are in the US or Europe), Anthony Patten from Cellular Reclamation, WaterAid’s partner in the scheme, will arrange for them to be collected. Cellular Reclamation can be contacted at 00 44 (0) 1980 620 813 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You will then receive a cataloguing note, detailing the value of your donation, and WaterAid will receive the funds. Each phone will raise up to US $50/£30 or more for WaterAid. With over 105 million handsets discarded in Europe every year, this scheme has immense potential.