What is WASH?
WASH stands for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. This key public health issue is part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda that established the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. The establishment of SDG 6, ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’, reflects the increased attention on water and sanitation issues in the global political agenda.
The Environmental Engineering (WASH) network is one of the lines of research of the Venezuelan Science Incubator. This network aims to provide scientific information in the area of environmental engineering, and act as a center of expertise in the field of WASH where scientific findings translate into immediate changes in communities. This research network was created because long-term NTD control require improvements in the WASH sector. WASH interventions are diverse, potentially including improvements in water access, sanitation access, and hygiene practices, because:
- At least 663 million people still do not have access to basic drinking water service (UN).
- At least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated (UN).
- The amount of fresh water on earth is limited, and its quality is under constant pressure. More than 80% of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or seas without any pollution removal, (UN) eventually reaching domestic water supplies.
- The lack of basic sanitation and hygiene contributes to the proliferation of NTDs.
Our vision is a world where people have universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene, and the environment is protected from solid waste and untreated wastewater.
The Environmental Engineering (WASH) network aims to achieve the following objectives:
- To create partnerships with universities, industry partners, and hospitals, to do applied research in the area of WASH.
- To create awareness of WASH problems.
- To develop applied research through citizen’s science that allows community members to be involved in investigating the effects of poor water, sanitation, and hygiene on health.
- To become a trusted international leader in WASH education.
- To develop scientific evidence for interventions with inputs from WASH, health, and NTD sectors to increase awareness about the cobenefits of joint WASH and NTD action.