Water for all

Photo: tom Greenwood

One in five of the world's people lives without safe water, and two in five lack even basic sanitation.

Yet here in New Zealand, clean water is so plentiful and easily available that we simply take it for granted.

In the world's poorest countries, ill-health from drinking dirty water is one of the most serious threats to human life. Despite great improvements, diseases caused by unclean water and inadequate sanitation claim the lives of over one million children each year. Most cases can be prevented or treated.

Sustainable solutions

Often the solution to providing safe drinking water is not complicated – the engineering requires just some know-how, a few materials and a bit of hard work. Find out how we're using sustainable solutions to give people access to clean and safe water.

In pictures

Click on the images to read the stories:

Splash out on a lifesaving gift

By buying a gift from Oxfam Unwrapped you can help support our water work in Vanuatu, Bougainville and Paua New Guinea. You can provide safe water for 25, 50 or 100 people with Oxfam Unwrapped's gifts with a difference.

Latest news

Kiwis turned off their taps for 24 hours

March 21, 2017

Thousands of New Zealanders around the country took on the challenge to go a whole day without turning on their taps – at home and at work – in a brand new project hoping to provide easy access to clean water for our Pacific neighbours.

Options running out for 37,000 refugees in South Sudan's Jamam camp, Oxfam warns

April 27, 2012

Tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees face desperate, life-threatening water shortages and a growing threat of fatal disease in Jamam camp in South Sudan and must be urgently moved to a new site, international agency Oxfam said today. As conflict spreads along the border between Sudan and South Sudan, there are fears more refugees could arrive in a camp already stretched beyond its limits and unable to cope with further influx.

Oxfam highlights poor access to water across Pacific with Queen Street water haul

March 1, 2012

In a show of solidarity with people across the Pacific, many of whom lack the basics taken for granted by Kiwis, Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director Barry Coates was joined by staff and supporters to carry heavy loads of water, vegetables and bedding up Queen Street at lunch time today.

Latest blogs

Our Cyclone Gita response continues

June 27, 2018

Permaculture practices in our development work in PNG

September 20, 2016

We recently received this question via our Twitter account about whether we incorporate permaculture principles into our development work.

The benefits of clean water

March 22, 2016

Oxfam is providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene education in some of the world’s poorest countries. In fact, it’s one of the things we do best.

Latest actions and appeals

“It’s not safe water at the river … I see human waste flowing along. I push it aside and keep collecting my water. But I know very well that it’s dangerous.”
Ida, mother of six, Zimbabwe

Latest stories

March 27, 2014

Clean water, good sanitation and better prospects go hand in hand in Papua New Guinea.

March 5, 2014

Falesina and his wife Kalameli no longer have to drink water contaminated with bacteria. Oxfam's Cyclone Evan response has given them the gift of clean water to improve their health and livelihood.

March 5, 2014

For the first time in his life, Siitageo no longer has to fret about collecting water