Welcome to the "WATSAN-Agriculture" research project
Water, sanitation and hygiene are key elements for improving nutritional outcomes. Unsafe drinking water and inadequate water and sanitation conditions are widely known as the major cause of diarrhea, tropical enteropathy, and intestinal worms. Diarrhea is a leading cause of death in children under-five. Around 2 billon people across the globe are affected by parasitic infections and around 4.5 billion people are under the risk of infection. The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water and Sanitation 2013 reports that in 2011, 768 million people lacked access to improved drinking water, while the sanitation coverage in 2011 was 64% - far below the MDG sanitation target of 75%. The report further documents that 15% of the global population practiced open defecation. Water and sanitation challenges are exacerbated by population growth, rapid urbanization and climate change.
The goal of the WATSAN-Agriculture project is to identify trade-offs, synergies, and thresholds among water quality and quantity, sanitation and hygiene, and agriculture as well as their implications for investment priorities and better health and nutrition outcomes. The project also aims at strengthening the capacity of households and communities to monitor and manage their own WATSAN environment.
Research activities are carried out in four countries which are located in Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana) and South Asia (India, Bangladesh). These countries were selected because they have relevant WATSAN features: drinking water, sanitation services, and hygiene conditions are seriously deficient, and health and nutrition situations are particularly adverse.