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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

Water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH)


The aim of any WASH programme is to promote good personal and environmental
hygiene in order to protect health, as shown in the diagram below. An effective
WASH programme relies on an exchange of information between the agency and
the disaster-affected population in order to identify key hygiene problems and
culturally appropriate solutions. Ensuring the optimal use of all water supply and
sanitation facilities and practising safe hygiene will result in the greatest impact
on public health.
Hygiene promotion is vital to a successful WASH intervention. The focus on
hygiene promotion is general and specific. In general terms, hygiene promotion
is integral to all of the sections and is reflected in the indicators for water
supply, excreta disposal, vector control, solid waste management and drainage.
More specifically, the focus narrows on two hygiene promotion standards in this
chapter and relates to particular hygiene promotion activities.