After using the toilet, a young girl washes her hands using the newly-installed apparatus near to her home. Access to sanitation and clean water is vital for the world’s progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Where it’s lacking, other barriers to health, education and income generation are likely to rise. For example, having a water pipe or pump in a village frees up time for the women and girls to whom the task of fetching water typically falls. This means there’s more time for children to spend at school, and more time for women to earn and supplement the family’s income. Girls are more likely to attend school during menstruation because they’re able to bathe more frequently and, of course, waterborne diseases are less likely to spread when the water that’s consumed is clean and safe.

These are the knock-on effects that motivated United Purpose (formerly Concern Universal) to develop a wide-ranging, holistic WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programme in Malawi. Since 1989, its hard work has resulted in the installation of more than 2,500 water points, the construction of over 55,000 toilets and the implementation of rainwater harvesting systems in multiple schools to enable students to wash their hands even during dry periods. Each water point caters to the needs of its local community in the most cost-effective way possible. United Purpose also makes sure it teaches people how to utilise and maintain the new infrastructure.

To celebrate these achievements, the NGO tasked Robin with producing a book that could be given to its donors and the WASH programme’s stakeholders. The resulting coffee table style publication includes captivating images that demonstrate Robin’s ability to combine creativity with a solid, technical understanding of a programme’s development outcomes. As a multi-talented creative, he also designed the book himself, single-handedly taking on responsibility for its layout and aesthetic.


Water works in Malawi


United Purpose (formerly Concern Universal)


Camera settings
18mm, ISO 500, 1/50, f/6.3