Urban water and waste
Improving access to drinking water, sanitation and waste services for the urban poor
More than half of the world’s population now live in urban centres, and the number living in slums is increasing by 10% every year. Over a third of the developing world don’t have access to decent sanitation facilities. In urban slums lack of access to household sanitation is a particular issue for women. Transmission of water-borne diseases such as cholera are exacerbated by environmental pollution and low levels of personal hygiene.
This is technology injustice. We know the clear advantages of sanitation, yet many millions of people still don’t have access.
What we do
Examples of our approach to urban water, sanitation and waste
Water & sanitation
More than one billion people worldwide can’t get the safe, clean water they need. Lack of access to adequate water supplies means people’s lives are at risk. Drinking, washing, cooking, growing crops and rearing livestock all require water.
Rapid urbanisation places a considerable strain on urban services, such as solid waste management.
We work with some of the poorest communities to improve waste management and collection methods, creating safer and healthier places to live and work.
We are working around the world to improve access to drinking water, sanitation and waste services for the urban poor. Read more about our current and recent projects.
Latest news from our blogs
Talking about shit for a week in India — a fascinating context to present our sanitation work! India, a country that has undertaken a huge and ambitious national scale clean-up campaign ('Swachh Bharat' /'Clean India Mission'), hosted the 4th Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Confer...
With a number of challenges on the field and off the field, the team in India has managed to deliver some good sustainable practical solutions in last couple of years. Moving ahead for an eventful 2017 and with added challenges and milestones, I thought of ending the year with looking back at the...
Clean water is something we take for granted but it is a basic human right that many are often denied. There are 2.5 billion people in the world that lack access to improved sanitation and 748 million people that don’t have clean drinking water. Nearly 1,400 children die each day from diseases c...
We help identify and implement practical, sustainable water, sanitation and waste management technologies that people can use to reduce urban poverty.
We research, develop and adapt technologies, making sure that success in one country can form a template for success in another. Consequently, our projects make an impact far beyond the communities that initially benefit.
Practical Action aims to achieve 'inclusive services: liveable cities', where poor people can enjoy at least a basic level of services as part of their human rights, and the foundation on which they can improve their well-being, and live the life they value.
Recent and forthcoming events on urban water, waste and sanitation attended or organised by Practical Action, including WEDC and the South Asia Conference on Sanitation.
Our technical information service offers free downloads on a range of topics related to water, sanitation and waste management.
We also offer a technical enquiry service where anyone working in poverty reduction, or on small-scale technology projects, can ask a question and receive a response from our local experts free of charge