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30 Photos That Will Help You Appreciate Your Tap and Toilet

This World Water Day, we’re sharing 30 striking water photos that made us think twice about wasting water.

water image

Celebrating World Water Day 2019

We know that water is a precious resource. But when you can just turn on the tap it's so easy to take it for granted.

This World Water Day, we’re sharing 30 striking water photos that made us think twice about wasting water. Here’s a valuable insight into how those living in the world’s poorest communities battle to access clean water and safe sanitation.

The long journey to collect water

images of water

Acet, Uganda: Betty and her mum Evelyn travel each day only to collect the unsafe water which often makes Betty sick. "We drink the same water as the pigs and cows," says Evelyn. "Once Betty got so sick she had to go to the hospital and we found out she had typhoid."

world water day 2018 images

Northern Brazil

world day for water

Ntungamo, Uganda

About World Water Day 2019

The theme of World Water Day 2019 is ‘Water for all’.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 is focused on ensuring all people have access to safe water by 2030. Sadly today, this goal is still far off with billions of people struggling without safe water.

Marginalised groups in particular – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.

This World Water Day, 22nd March, is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind.


collecting water

Sefi Beret, Ethiopia: 13-year-old Yelekal wakes up early in the morning and loads the donkey with yellow jerry cans to start the long journey to fetch water for his family. He rushes home with the donkey making sure no water is spilled to get to school on time. 

collecting water photo

El Salvador

walking to collect water

Ntungamo, Uganda

You can give vulnerable children access to safe water

Dirty water and unsafe sanitation robs children of the safe and secure childhood they deserve. Children spend hours carrying heavy containers of water over long distances when they should be learning and playing. Children get sick from waterborne diseases and miss vital hours in the classroom.

We’re right with you in thinking this is in an injustice. But it’s something that together we can change. Give to our Stability Fund today and bring vital support such as safe water, sanitation facilities and health training to children in extreme poverty.

Give the gift of safe water

world water day photos

Tanzania: Angel and her son travel to the local river to collect water.

carrying water

Kanda, Ghana

travelling to collect water

Gaanyela, Burkina Faso

sisters collecting water

Nyamenge, Rwanda: Janet and her older sister travel together to collect water for their family. 

Water sources from around the world

water from well

Bolivia: Yessica lowers a plastic button into her community’s make-shift well. 

drinking from water tap

Barangays Sibobo, The Philippines: Antoneth and her brother enjoy refreshment from the village tap.

World Water Day Facts

5 key water and sanitation facts:

  • One in three people (2.4 billion) still use unimproved sanitation facilities, including 946 million people who still practice open defecation.
  • 663 million people still lack an improved source of drinking water.
  • On average, women and children spend 200 million hours every day collecting water
  • Diarrhoeal diseases are among the main contributors to global child mortality, causing about 10% of all deaths in children under the age of five.

clean water photo

Koch Awinge, Uganda

water photos

Nyanyano, Ghana

collecting water in uganda


world water day

Mlandege Iringa, Tanzania

collecting water in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso: large barrels on carts are used to make the daily water collection easier.

water source in Togo


Toilets from around the world

As these sanitation photos show, the importance of safe sanitation is so often overlooked. Universal access to adequate sanitation is a fundamental need and human right and yet 892 million people are still forced to practice open defecation.

toilets around the world

Santa Teresinha, Brazil 

sanitation images


toilets in the Philippines

The Philippines: Two public toilets on the edge of a lake.

sanitation photos

Northern Brazil

toilet in kenya

Rural Kenya

rural toilet

Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Before and after images of water and sanitation

A trusted children’s charity, operating since 1952, Compassion gives children the opportunity to overcome poverty. In addition to the education and health support provided by our child sponsorship programme, we remove any additional obstacles that stop a child from thriving. From boreholes to water filters, when dirty water is hindering a child’s development, we provide the most appropriate source of safe water.

safe water provision

Remember Betty and her mum Evelyn? Seeing the need in Acet, Uganda, Compassion built a borehole which now serves the Compassion project and local families in the community. Evelyn is overjoyed that Betty's health has already improved: 

Ever since they brought in the new water, my child has not suffered from any water-related diseases like typhoid.

dirty water image

Fiona from Ryabega, Rwanda was forced to collect water from a water hole three miles from her house. The local lake is where animals drink, clothes are washed and waste is dumped. The water put this 12-year-old at risk of cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, diarrhoea and giardiasis.

clean water

Thanks to generous donations from supporters, Compassion was able to supply Fiona with a water filter.  Now Fiona’s no longer at risk, no longer getting sick and no longer missing school.

Give children like Fiona safe water and sanitation

sanitation in the Philippines

In the Philippines, 11-year-old Karen’s family had never had a toilet. Karen was forced to run behind sugarcane plants to defecate, even at night. “It was very scary,” she remembers.

safe sanitation

Seeing vulnerable young girls were at risk, Compassion’s partner church decided to build a new toilet block and sewerage system using resources from our Stability fund. “I am very happy about (having a toilet),” says Karen. “Having our own toilet just outside our kitchen is a good thing since I don’t need to run to the sugar-canes anymore. My legs used to get cut from the plants.”


Sources: Millennium Development Goals Report, World Health Organisation: Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Waterunwater.org

WORDS : Becca Stanley

PHOTOS : Compassion International

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