© Nichole Sobecki

Water and sanitation specialist

"The best thing about my job that I get to work so closely with local staff, learning about their lives and culture" - Cokie van der Velde

Being a water and sanitation specialist (WATSAN) with MSF is a diverse and stimulating job.

From sourcing and delivering clean drinking water to thousands of people displaced by conflict in Nigeria, to siting and building latrines for people who have lost everything in an earthquake, MSF WATSANs are essential to ensure that people in desperate situations access the basic necessities to survive.


Our WATSANs usually work in the project, and manage a variety of work including hospital waste management, health promotion and clean water provision.

It’s an exciting and diverse role and you would be responsible for some or all of the following:

  • Managing a team of Waste Zone Operators, hygiene promoters, WATSAN assistants and various others
  • Sourcing and delivering clean water to populations in need
  • Siting and constructing latrines and other sanitation facilities
  • Managing hospital waste
  • Supervising hygiene promotion

Stories from the field

© Luca Sola

 Read more  

"Be careful what you ask for…" >

Ryan BellinghamWater and Sanitation

To read more first-hand stories from WATSANs working in the field with MSF, visit our blog.


  • Education in Civil Engineering, Water and Sanitation, Land and Water Management (preferably international), or similar
  • Significant work experience in water and sanitation
  • Experience in managing, supervising and training others
  • Available for a minimum of nine months
  • Minimum of three months’ work, volunteering or travel experience in developing countries
  • Willingness to work in unstable areas
  • Adaptable and able to work in a multicultural team
  • Flexible and able to manage stress
  • Able to provide training and supervision to others
  • Fluency in English



We are currently looking for WATSANS with good French and Arabic Skills.

If you speak French or Arabic to a level where you can be placed in French or Arabic speaking missions such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad or Yemen, you are much more likely to be accepted onto the MSF register.

before you apply

Your safety and security 

We take safety and security seriously. This video explains the risks our staff face and the lengths we go to keep them safe.

Please watch this before you decide whether or not to apply for this job.

What's it like working with MSF? 

In most projects you'll be living and working in stressful conditions without many of the things you may take for granted at home.

Please watch this short video and reflect on why you want to work for MSF before starting your application. 

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