SDG 1: To end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030

How Just a Drop contributes

With clean water, communities can begin to lift themselves out of poverty and build brighter futures. Drinking dirty water can make people sick. That’s just part of the picture. A lack of clean water and sanitation holds back development and makes it harder for communities to escape the poverty trap.

With access to clean water, women and children no longer have to walk long distances during arduous and dangerous journeys to collect dirty water from the nearest water source. Instead, children can spend more time in school getting an education and increasing their future prospects, and women can spend time working to generate an income.

Access to clean water means that people no longer have to spend money on medicines to treat diseases and illnesses caused by drinking dirty water, or on repairing damaged and unsuitable water systems. 

In Kenya we work with communities to provide sustainable agriculture training and food security programmes alongside their water solutions.  With a stable source of water in the community, food security increases, as families can grow crops and sell the excess. Communities have better health, stable food sources, more income and increased prosperity. They can begin to lift themselves out of the poverty trap.

As part of our WASH training, many of our projects include tutorials in soap-making. As well as improving hygiene at a household level, these trainings also equip individuals with the skills to produce their own soap which they can then sell on. Soap-making, therefore, provides an alternative source of income, as well as a path to cleaner and healthier lives.

Another way we contribute towards this goal is by supporting people setting up their own businesses. In Uganda, we are piloting income generating loans, which enable people to set up or develop small businesses. In Buguluube village, we provided income generating loans to the Zabuliwo Women’s Group to support local women realise their business ambitions. 

SDG 2:  End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

How Just a Drop contributes

Just a Drop works in areas often prone to severe drought, flooding and soil erosion. The unpredictability of rainfall leads to diminished agricultural productivity - with devastating effects for communities. Our projects provide a sustainable source of water all year round.

Reducing diarrhoea is key to improving nutrition, as 50% of malnutrition is attributable to repeated episodes of diarrhoea. Our clean safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects reduce diarrhoeal diseases in the communities we work with.

In Kenya we work directly with communities to improve nutrition and achieve sustainable food security. Alongside water solutions such as sand dams, which provide enough water for communities to irrigate crops, we provide sustainable climate-smart agricultural training in terracing, mixed cropping, cover crops, zero grazing, tree planting and seed banks. In Makueni County, for instance, we distributed a variety of drought-tolerant seeds for local farmers to plant, strengthening food security for the local community as well as economic security for the farmers.

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

How Just a Drop contributes

Access to safe water and sanitation is a major factor in reaching targets for improving global health. Safe water and sanitation together with hygiene practices such as handwashing reduce infant mortality and water-related diseases.

Diarrhoeal diseases are primarily spread through a lack of water, sanitation and hygiene, and are the second biggest single killer of children under five. Just a Drop's clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects reduce diarrhoeal diseases among the communities we work with.

Across our projects we install private, safe and gender-sensitive latrines which promote well-being among girls and women, as do our menstrual hygiene programmes in Uganda.

In health centres in Uganda, like Wakiso Health Centre, we provide piped water, allowing the buildings to operate more safely and hygienically. As well as this, we have built gender-sensitive latrines and incinerators for waste, ensuring that both health and wellbeing are central to the project.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of our work. In 2020, our COVID-19 response work reached 151’094 people in Uganda, Zambia and Kenya, teaching communities the importance of good hygiene and social distancing to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

How Just a Drop contributes

Water, sanitation and hygiene are critical factors in improving attendance and performance in schools.

In many countries around the world, children have the responsibility of walking hours to collect water from the nearest source, meaning they miss time in school or are often too tired to focus in class. 

Malnourishment and diarrhoea caused by dirty water restricts children from their learning potential - or from attending school altogether.

Our safe water projects mean that children are healthier and no longer have to walk long distances to collect water. They spend more time in school and are better able to concentrate on their studies, receiving a better education.

Girls are often deterred from attending school because of a lack of access to safe sanitation facilities and safe places to manage menstrual hygiene. Just a Drop works with schools to build gender sensitive sanitation facilities and implement menstrual hygiene programmes, both of which support girls to stay in school and receive a better education.

Mercy, age 10, is one of thousands of children who has seen first-hand the benefits safe and reliable water brings to schools:

Having the water tank at the school makes me very happy because we will drink clean water from the tank and this will protect us from contracting water diseases. We will wash our hands with soap and clean water after visiting the latrines and before and after eating our meals here at school.

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

How Just a Drop contributes

Just a Drop’s work aims to reduce the burden many women and girls face of collecting water from distant sources by providing access to safe water close to their homes.

Lack of access to adequate sanitation and menstrual hygiene facilities at school often leads to girls’ absenteeism, which restricts their future opportunities. 

In Uganda we provide safe gender sensitive latrines alongside menstrual hygiene management programmes which encourage girls to attend school and complete their education.

In all of our clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects, we promote equality and empowerment of girls and women by ensuring they have a voice throughout the decision-making process.

Women and girls are equal members of school health clubs, water user committees, and community monitoring teams formed to operate, maintain and monitor the water and sanitation services Just a Drop provides.

Additionally, our menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) work across all six countries is another incredibly important way we empower women and girls. In Nicaragua, for example, we have delivered a pilot MHH training in 10 schools, setting up hygiene corners to help illustrate hygiene products and have supported teachers to incorporate MHH into the curriculum. Following the success of this pilot we are about to start a larger programme targeting 60 schools.

SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

How Just a Drop contributes

As well as improving health, clean water, sanitation and hygiene free up time previously lost due to illness or walking to collect water. Children can spend more time in school, and adults have more time to spend on income generating activities. 

Through many of Just a Drop's projects we teach useful skills such as book-keeping, governance, and climate smart agricultural practices. These skills can increase earning potential and employability.

In Kenya, we work with communities to provide sustainable agriculture training and food security programmes alongside water solutions. With a stable source of water in the community, food security increases, as families can grow crops and sell the excess, leading to economic growth in the community.

As well as giving out income generating loans to women’s groups in Uganda, we are also setting up entrepreneur groups providing training to make soap and reusable sanitary pads alongside training in marketing and book-keeping.

SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

How Just a Drop contributes

Just a Drop's projects improve equal access to water and sanitation for all, regardless of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, economic or other status within a country.  

Our projects always have the community at their heart, and are community owned and led, ensuring everyone has a voice and is involved with the project from the outset - from designing the concept of the project, to village mapping, taking part in construction where possible, and WASH training. Across our projects we work with water user committees, self help groups, community monitoring teams and health clubs, all of which have strict inclusion policies. 

Water, sanitation and hygiene also plays a critical role in increasing attendance and performance at school and at work, in turn reducing gender inequality and increasing economic equality. 

SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

How Just a Drop contributes

Less than 3% of the world’s water is fresh, and therefore drinkable. With 2.5% frozen in Antarctica, the Arctic and glaciers, the remaining 0.5% covers all of the world's fresh water needs. Unfortunately humans are polluting water faster than nature can recycle and purify water in rivers and lakes. With 884 million people lacking access to clean safe water, water conservation and proper utilisation is critical to universal access to clean water. 

In Kenya, rains fall so quickly and in such a short space of time that most of the water runs off the land - rather than sinking into the ground and stored in the aquifer below. Our rainwater harvesting solutions in Kenya catch and store rainfall, providing a sustainable source of clean water for communities.

SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

How Just a Drop contributes

Water, sanitation and hygiene solutions can support greater resilience to climate change by strengthening water security in times of scarcity.

Water solutions designed to counter the impacts of climate change, coupled with education, can prepare communities and raise awareness of the impacts of climate change.

Just a Drop’s rainwater harvesting projects store and conserve water, which provides a buffer in times of water scarcity or drought caused by climate change.

Just a Drop projects in Kenya strengthen food security, for example by providing reliable sources of water and drought-resistant crop seeds, building resilience in those communities against the continued effects of climate change. In Cambodia projects are designed so that the latrines and wells are elevated to protect them in times of flooding. In India check dams are constructed as part of a wider watershed management intervention reducing water scarcity during times of drought.

Dominic Mwanzia, a farmer in Kenya:

My life has really improved since we embarked on the construction of sand dams. I am still awed by the milestones I have achieved thus far. Truly, water is very vital in our lives 

SDG 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

How Just a Drop contributes

The unpredictability of rainfall in many parts of the world affects water availability. This results in devastating effects on land and soil as communities strive to extract water, and continue farming methods that contribute to soil erosion and desertification.

The areas Just a Drop works in are often prone to severe drought, flooding and soil erosion. Alongside our water security projects in Kenya we provide sustainable climate-smart agriculture training in terracing to prevent soil erosion, mixed cropping, cover crops, zero grazing, tree planting and seed banks. Water solutions in Kenya such as sand dams are designed to build aquifers and not deplete them as drilled wells would.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

How Just a Drop contributes

Our work doesn’t happen in a vaccuum. From our inception, partnerships and collaboration have been the foundation of Just a Drop’s success. Across our projects, we would not be able to provide safe and reliable water without the tireless work of our local partners.

But collaboration doesn’t stop with our local partners. We know that Just a Drop alone can only help so many people, and whilst there are still millions around the world suffering without safe and reliable water, charities, governments and NGOs have to work together to achieve the best results to maximum effect. That’s why we’re so excited about our involvement in Water Can, a collaboration between six water charities working together to bring safe water to as many people as possible. Through global collaboration, we can create the brighter, safer and sustainable world where everyone can thrive.