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Providing Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene


Rotary’s third area of focus supports local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term.

Through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, Rotary’s people of action mobilize resources, form partnerships, and invest in infrastructure and training that yield long-term change.


Below are summaries of four exemplary Global Grants involving Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.

Please search for additional articles in Rotary eClub One’s program archives under category “Water and Sanitation Projects.”

Bringing clean water to public schools in Lebanon

Area of focus: Providing clean water

Host sponsor: Rotary Club of Baabda, Lebanon

International sponsor: Rotary Club of Kernersville, North Carolina, USA

Total budget: $43,550

Background: Municipal water supplies in Lebanon are often tainted because of deteriorating infrastructure, so most people buy bottled water for drinking. Many public schools collect rainwater in rusty tanks, leading to contamination, illness, and missed school days. The influx of refugees from Syria has made schools even more crowded and created an even greater need for clean water.

Scope: This grant supplied new water tanks, pipes, filters, and faucets to 19 schools; it also provided hygiene training.

Impact: Now, 6,743 children have access to clean water and the project is being replicated throughout the country. Rotarians in Lebanon aim to bring clean water to every public school – totaling more than 1,000.

Providing safe water for rural communities in Peru

Area of focus: Providing clean water

Host sponsor: Rotary Club of Cajamarca Layzón, Peru

International sponsor: District 2201 (Spain)

Total budget: $258,195

Background: Before the project, residents drank untreated spring water, and the rate of intestinal and respiratory diseases, especially among infants and the elderly, was high.

Scope: The project repaired 32 reservoirs and installed gravity-fed drip chlorination systems for drinking water. The Rotarians also trained residents to administer and maintain the system.

Impact: More than 10,000 people, including 1,138 children under age four, now have clean drinking water.

Fun fact: The Rotary Club of Cajamarca Layzón has only 11 members; this was its first global grant.

Improving sanitation and hygiene training in Benin

Area of focus: Providing clean water

Host sponsor: Rotary Club of Abomey-Calavi, Benin

International sponsor: District 2080 (Italy)

Total budget: $158,999

Background: The village of Paouignan needed improved clean water infrastructure.

Scope: The Rotarians provided a new well and water tower and 10 new taps, repaired seven older taps, and provided hygiene training in Paouignan.

Impact: Improved water access and sanitation practices benefited 17,000 people.

Fun fact: This grant was part of the Future Vision Pilot. The sponsoring clubs understood the Foundation’s desire for sustainable projects and created the hygiene component of the grant before any training documents were available. The grant sponsors communicated in three languages while carrying out this project.

Bringing basic sanitation to a remote village in Colombia

Area of focus: Providing clean water

Host sponsor: Rotary Club of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

International sponsor: Rotary Club of Los Angeles, California, USA

Total budget: $38,507

Background: Sanitation facilities in the village of Leticia were nonexistent; residents had to relieve themselves outdoors. Environmental contamination and lack of hygiene contributed to illness among people in the village.

Scope: The Rotary Community Corps in Leticia proposed a project to provide bathrooms – each including toilet, shower, sink, and septic tank – to 25 of the village’s 75 homes. University students and Rotarians trained residents in hygiene, food handling, and waste management.

Fun fact: A nearby village has asked the Rotarians to organize an RCC there.

Top tip: Work with an RCC; talk with clubs that have done a similar project; form strategic alliances with universities, local companies, and government officials; and actively involve local Rotary members.




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