CWS Asia

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Washing our hands is a critical part of basic hygiene. It helps stop the spread of germs and diseases, from diarrhea to coronavirus. For many years, CWS has supported families worldwide as they access clean water and learn about how washing hands helps keep us all healthy. Photo: CWS

Quan Chu primary students (in Vietnam) now practice good behaviors thanks for a new toilet built by CWS. Photo: CWS

Farida and Anizar (In Indonesia) at their close-to-home latrines. Photo: CWS

Increased water, sanitation and hygiene support not only improves the overall health of a community, but can also create dramatic improvements in areas like education, livelihoods, and food security.

With the task of retrieving water falling mostly to women and children, the often extreme distance and queues for water significantly impacts every aspect of family life. In particularly vulnerable environments the cost of neglecting these necessities can create a larger price in the lives of community members who struggle with ongoing hardships.


In Cambodia, you’re helping communities construct concrete ring wells so families can access safe water for home use, including bathing! Clean, safe water. Smiling families. A job well done. Photo: CWS

Pay Kone School Students Using Latrine (in Myanmar). Photo: CWS

In addition to safe water, the provision of sanitation and the transfer of hygiene knowledge is often equally critical when responding to disasters or fostering healthier communities.

Countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Vietnam

Latest News

The Situation Is Not Ideal, But Upholding People’s Dignity Helps

CWS Indonesia | June 16, 2019

When someone asks you, “Where is the bathroom?”, what is your answer? For most people, the answer to this question is easy. “Down the hall and to the left”, you might say. For pre-teens Farida and Anizar, the answer is not so easy. After the earthquake that hit their town last year, flash floods washed […]

One Village Health Worker’s Environmental Sanitation Push

CWS Vietnam | June 15, 2019

By Nguyen Van Ty, CWS Vietnam WASH Program Officer. Rom is a big northern Vietnamese village with 137 families from the Tay ethnic minority group. People earn their living from planting, harvesting and selling upland rice. They grow and sell maize, sweet potatoes and some vegetables too. So, the village’s economic development is going well. […]

The Weight of Water

CWS Indonesia | May 26, 2019

Rahmayanti, or Tanti as her friends call her, is much like any other 16-year-old girl. She enjoys spending time with her friends and studying. Yet, unlike most teenage girls, Tanti recently experienced something that most 16-year-olds couldn’t imagine: the consequences of a complex natural disaster when an earthquake that struck in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia in […]

Doing Well by Doing Good: A Mason’s Story

CWS Myanmar |

U Aung Kyaw Moe lives in Yae Le Gyi village, which is in southwest Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady River delta. Like many poor Myanmar citizens, U Moe works several jobs to make ends meets. Sometimes he works as a mason and a carpenter; other times he is a hairdresser! He supports his family of four on an […]

Limited Access to Water Is a Challenge We Face: Always

CWS Timor-Leste | March 29, 2019

Maumetalau, a small mountain village in northwest Timor-Leste is like many rural communities in the country where people rely on farming for their income, and they have little access to services. Markets at which to sell vegetables, and safe road conditions and reliable water systems, are things to which most rural people have little or […]

Partnership for Improved Hygiene and Sanitation

CWS Cambodia |

Recently, CWS Cambodia staff worked with administrators, teachers and parents of students at Rumdoah Srae Primary School in north central Cambodia to improve water access and build hand-washing stations in support of better hygiene at the school. As always, CWS included teaching-learning opportunities for the students and staff while the material improvements were being made. […]

CWS Support for Proper Sanitation in Challenging Environment Is Paying Off in Maubin, Myanmar

CWS Myanmar | March 28, 2019

Following months of especially severe flooding in late 2015, CWS has supported 15 Ayeyawaddy River delta communities to keep making changes, slowly but surely, to build their resilience and continue their development, despite their perennial vulnerability. During the past three years, there has been progress; there have been setbacks, and there has been hope. One […]

Learning what “water is life” REALLY means in Central Sulawesi

Josephine Oguta | March 22, 2019

“Water is life.” It’s a common saying in the humanitarian community, and you’ve probably heard it before. I certainly have. But even after a long career in community development and emergency response organizations, I didn’t really understand what it meant. Not until I visited Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, earlier this month. Central Sulawesi was hit by […]

Kansas City Students Visit Vietnam to Learn and Serve

CWS Vietnam | March 7, 2019

In early January our CWS team in Vietnam hosted CWS Board of Directors member, Dr. Paul Chan, and 11 Kansas City Pembroke High School students and their teacher Mr. Samuel Knopik, for a service-learning opportunity of a lifetime. The trip succeeded beyond Paul’s and Sam’s wildest dreams for the students, who all agreed that the […]

Reflections on a trip to Vietnam

Paul Chan | January 25, 2019

Paul Chan is a member of the CWS board of Directors. He led a trip for high school students to visit CWS programs in Vietnam in January 2019. Below are some excerpts from the trip updates that he sent to the students’ parents. Tuesday, January 8 Today was a whirlwind tour. We started with a […]

A Daughter-Mother Duo Improve Their Hygiene, Health and Happiness

CWS Vietnam | January 20, 2019

Mai Hanh is a 5-year-old girl from the Tay ethnic minority group, and she lives in a poor rural village 220 kilometers (135 miles) northwest from Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. When CWS staff met Hanh during a recent visit to her village pre-school, they learned that she had no idea what a toilet is because, where […]

CWS Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Learning Exchange

CWS | December 30, 2018

CWS water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) teams from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Vietnam, together with colleagues from Cambodia’s WASH SDO and Canada’s CAWST met in Siem Reap, Cambodia in early December to share successes, challenges, learning and ideas from the past year across Southeast Asia. The learning exchange was organized by Vietnam and Cambodia […]

“My decision to make biogas at home is completely right!”

Nguyen Van Ty - CWS Vietnam | December 27, 2018

Ma Van Va heads a young family from the Tay ethnic minority group in Nam Kep village, and they earn their living from rice farming and pig and cattle raising. So, they do have some resources to support themselves; but, honestly, Va needed some help to manage his animals better – especially their solid waste, […]

“I am happy to say that many people were inspired and motivated to have sanitary latrines.”

Tran Van Thang - CWS Vietnam | December 26, 2018

Recently, I had a chance to spend some time with Bong Thi Chieu, who is 38 and a member of the Thai ethnic minority group in northern Vietnam. She lives with her family in Na Dan 2 village, and we met during my monitoring visit to see how she and her neighbors are doing in […]

It’s Never Too Little; and It’s Never Too Late … for Hope

CWS Indonesia |

Yohanis Tefu, who is 29, lives in a tiny hamlet in West Timor with his 73-year-old adoptive mother, Silpa Sopaba, and his three other siblings. Silpa is actually the siblings’ aunt, and she has been caring for her sister’s children since her sister died, along with the children’s father. When Yohanis was young he developed […]

CWS Asia learning exchange: spotlight on Indonesia and Timor-Leste

Ek Sothea - CWS Cambodia | December 14, 2018

This blog is the last in a four-part series focusing on CWS water, sanitation and hygiene programs in each of four Asian countries where we work. This one focuses on Indonesia and Timor-Leste. It’s important to know that the acronym WASH stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Access to safe water is a rising concern […]

CWS Asia learning exchange: spotlight on Vietnam

Ek Sothea - CWS Cambodia |

This blog is the third in a four-part series focusing on CWS water, sanitation and hygiene programs in each of four Asian countries where we work. This one focuses on Vietnam. It’s important to know that the acronym WASH stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. CWS teams from across Asia gathered in Cambodia last week […]

CWS Asia learning exchange: spotlight on Myanmar

Ek Sothea - CWS Cambodia |

This blog is the second in a four-part series focusing on CWS water, sanitation and hygiene programs in each of four Asian countries where we work. This one focuses on Myanmar. It’s important to know that the acronym WASH stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. In talking with my colleagues from around southeast Asia at […]

CWS Asia learning exchange: spotlight on Cambodia

Ek Sothea - CWS Cambodia |

This blog is the first in a four-part series focusing on CWS water, sanitation and hygiene programs in each of four Asian countries where we work. This one focuses on Cambodia. It’s important to know that the acronym WASH stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. CWS teams from across Asia gathered in Siem Reap, Cambodia […]

Once Again: It Takes a Village!

CWS Myanmar | November 27, 2018

CWS first got to know the people of tiny Yae Le Gyi village in 2015 when our Myanmar team partnered with community leaders and other to respond to severe flooding in the Ayerwaddy River delta region; and, since then all 250 families have joined with CWS staff and each other to recover and rebuild … […]

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