Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Services

HANDS provides safe water at a low cost to the underprivileged population of Pakistan through its WASH program. The service also focuses on sanitation and hygiene. Some of the projects undertaken include the provision of clean drinking water, improved sanitation schemes, open defecation-free villages and solid waste management.

In 2022-23, HANDS carried out 16 WASH projects in 34 districts and 1,936 villages and urban settlements with 1.86 million beneficiaries.






Villages/Urban Settlement



Description2022-23Up to date
Open Defecation Free Declared Villages


(4,304,000 Beneficiaries)

Number of WASH Schemes


(29,472 Beneficiaries)


(2,854,908 beneficiaries)

Sanitation Schemes


(11,956 beneficiaries)


(1,401,764 beneficiaries)

Drinking Water Schemes


(8,890 beneficiaries)


(1,250,529 beneficiaries)

Hand Washing Schemes


(3,945 beneficiaries)


(158,760 beneficiaries)



(3,945 beneficiaries)


(7,280 beneficiaries)

Paul Filter/Water Filter Plants


(736 beneficiaries)


(36,575 beneficiaries)

Services Models

Provision of Drinking Water Through PAUL Filter

The provision of safe drinking water is a critical issue in rural areas. Rural women fetch water from wells located at a long distance from their homes, expending considerable effort. HANDS has tried to alleviate the challenge by building reservoirs, laying down supply lines, and installing storage tanks and shallow hand pumps required by the communities.

The water provided to homes in these communities is filtered through a PAUL filter designed by the Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (DSEE) at the University of Kassel, Germany. This small membrane ultrafiltration unit operates with gravity and removes 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. It can filter 1200 liters of water per day without any chemicals and is easy to operate. HANDS has installed 65 PAUL water filters in Pakistan with the cooperation of different funding partners.

PAUL is a water filter that guarantees a quick supply of drinking water either in disaster areas or in rural areas. The device filters not only pathogens out of the water making it drinkable and offering viable protection against cholera, typhus and other unavoidable sicknesses but also metals like arsenic. This filter can be carried by one person as a backpack to far-off regions since it is lightweight.

The filter is not difficult to use. Pour the dirty water in at the top and draw off the clean drinking water from the tap after a couple of moments. The device works reliably for a long time with no energy utilization, chemicals or additives. It is incredibly strong and has no moving parts. The manual comprises simple pictograms that can be understood by illiterates and anybody can thus utilize the gadget.

Improved Sanitation Schemes

Sanitation is a continuous process and the concepts of cleanliness and hygiene need to be internalized to make a permanent impact. HANDS addresses the immediate challenges of sanitation and also takes care of sustainable practices. For instance, while the issue of open defecation was solved by the creation of washrooms, these were often not connected to sewerage lines. This meant that the waste and dirty water collected in open spaces caused harm to health.
HANDS found the solution in nature with the creation of wetlands. This is a new approach to greening and beautifying communities while recycling wastewater and reducing water consumption. Wetlands are a sustainable approach that bypasses the use of wastewater treatment plants that need machinery, have high energy usage and generate CO2 emissions.
The wetlands copy ecological processes by employing a natural mechanism of purification so that constructed wetlands are not only more efficient and cheaper to build but also require little specialized maintenance. The system allows wastewater to be recycled for additional green zone creation making more efficient use of available water in dry areas. The visible element of the system is a green space that can be made highly attractive.

School WASH Club Engagement: "Nurturing Tomorrow's Leaders for Health and Environment"

WASH clubs at HANDS intervened schools originated from an extensive environmental assessment conducted by HANDS. The organization found new avenues for improving hygiene practices through creative ideation. Selected by their peers, the members embody a varied mosaic of 15–20 ardent individuals, each chosen for their proven aptitude in problem-solving and environmental comprehension. These clubs meet every two months to discuss various issues related to WASH interventions, promote good hygiene habits and create a lively learning atmosphere in addition to gathering for meetings. Their unwavering commitment expresses a story of accountability and a vision for a time when sustainability and wellness coexist peacefully.


WASH Clubs





Open Defecation Free

The challenge of open defecation is intense because 25 million people still practice open defecation in the country. Fifty three thousand Pakistani children under 5 die annually from diarrhea due to poor water and sanitation. Women are the worst affected because they are exposed to health hazards, sexual abuse and violence, especially if they have to practice open defecation during the night. Lack of sanitation is also one of the reasons for the dropout of girls students.

Open Defecation Free Villages

(up to date)


Solid Waste Management: Transforming Waste into Sustainability

Addressing the escalating challenge of inefficient solid waste management, our commitment led to the establishment of the Integrated Resource Recovery Centre (IRRC) in Sadiq Livena, Hyderabad. This innovative facility, supported by UN-Habitat and facilitated by HANDS, processes up to 3 tons of waste daily. By segregating organic and inorganic waste, we’ve initiated a sustainable cycle—organic waste undergoes aerobic decomposition for compost formation, while recyclables are sold in markets, reducing environmental impact. The rejected material is safely disposed of by municipal services, effectively curbing the damaging effects of untreated waste.

Highlights of Post flood 2022 WASH services


No of


No. of


Hygiene Services (Hygiene, Dignity, Household Kits)272,1481,022,489
Water Schemes (PAUL Filters, Hand pump, Bladders, Trucking, Tanks, Treatment Plants, Schemes, Chlorine Tabs)51,4941,757,387
Sanitation Schemes (Toilets, Wetland)10,484602,140

Impact Assessment Finding in HANDS Intervention Social Determinants Assessment of the WASH Program

Improved sanitation with diarrhea

The Use of improved sanitation reduces the cases of diarrhea (P value 0.004 * Significance Association).

Improved sanitation with handwashing

Improved Sanitation has greater access to handwashing practices (P value 0.000 * Significance Association).

Improved water with poverty

Poor individuals are more likely to use unimproved water sources compared to non-poor individuals (p < 0.05 * Significance Association).

Improved sanitation with poverty

Poor individuals are more likely to use open defecation source compared to non-poor individuals (P Value 0.000 * Significance Association)

Reverse Osmosis Plant

Reverse Osmosis removes pollutants from unfiltered water or feed water when strain compels it through a semipermeable membrane. Water flows from the more concentrated side (more contaminated) of the RO membrane to the less concentrated side (fewer contaminants) to provide clean drinking water. The new water created is known as the penetrating. The concentrated water left over is called waste or brine.
A semipermeable membrane has small pores that block contaminants yet permit water molecules to move through. In Osmosis, the water turns out to be more concentrated as it passes through the membrane to acquire equilibrium on both sides. Reverse Osmosis, however, blocks contaminants from entering the less concentrated side of the membrane. For example, when pressure is applied to a volume of saltwater during reverse osmosis, the salt is left behind and just clean water moves through. HANDS managed 13 RO Water Filtration Plants last year in 10 districts across Pakistan.




RO Plant


Number Of Users

13.7M Ltrs

Water Consumption

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM): Empowering Change, Empowering Lives

Our MHM initiatives have yielded impactful outcomes, reaching communities at critical junctures. Our vision to spearhead a national MHM movement by 2030 gains momentum through collaborations with local, district and national stakeholders. Providing women-friendly sanitation facilities and distributing hygiene kits during emergencies have been cornerstones of our efforts benefiting thousands of households directly. Our engagements during emergencies, such as floods, have provided essential support to adolescent girls and women, ensuring their dignity and well-being amid challenging circumstances.

Our institutional relationships and alliances demonstrate our dedication to menstrual hygiene. Our commitment to this cause is unwavering as we continue to be official partners of Menstrual Hygiene Day and as proud members of the MHM Alliance and WASH United.

As part of the humanitarian response to the floods in Sindh and Balochistan, our preventive action made hygiene kits made available to 13,313 families. In keeping with our all-encompassing strategy, we have also set up seven handwashing stations in schools, demonstrating our dedication to encouraging good hygiene among the next generation.