How one company is providing safe drinking water to needy communities around the world

Johannesburg, 4 May 2016 – Yesterday Procter and Gamble (P&G) mark an important milestone of their P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme – providing 10 billion litres of clean drinking water to needy communities around the world.

Dam - Calueque Angola“The P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme was initiated in 2004 in order to address the global crisis of lack of access to clean drinking water. This crisis is particularly prevalent in Africa, with 319 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lacking access to improved drinking water,” explains Khululiwe Mabaso, CSI Associate Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at P&G.

Mabaso continues, “P&G created the Purifier of Water packets using our laundry detergent research. Each four-gram packet, which uses powder technology, can purify 10 litres of heavily contaminated water wherever it is needed, which is enough clean water for a family of five for a day. The packets are convenient and easy to transport, and users need only a bucket, a cloth and a stir stick to complete the purification process in just 30 minutes. With the assistance of our 150 partners in 75 countries around the world, we have helped provide the power of clean drinking water to millions of people who need it most.”

Access to clean water is a global emergency. UNICEF estimates that 1.8 billion people globally drink faecally contaminated water. The effects of consuming dirty water are far reaching. Water-related diseases, such as typhoid, bilharzia and cholera, affect countless African communities. Additionally, stagnant water is a breeding site for mosquitoes, which spread malaria, yellow fever and dengue.

Photos from Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Cape Town, South Africa.Children are particularly affected by this scourge. Diarrhoeal disease, usually caused by poor water quality, insufficient hygiene, or inadequate sanitation, is the third leading cause of death among children under five. It is estimated that almost 340,000 children globally die annually from these diseases.

The P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme has provided six billion litres of clean drinking water to 39 African countries in the past 11 years. Although the programme has not yet been implemented in South Africa, it will soon start making a difference in our country later this year, in partnership with Gift of the Givers.

In anticipation of the important impact the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme will have in South Africa, the 10 billion litre milestone was celebrated today at Thabotona Primary School in Tsietsi Informal Settlement in Ekurhuleni. Well-known rapper and TV personality, ProVerb, leant his voice to this worthy cause by showing the learners how the PUR sachets can purify 10 litres of dirty water in just 30 minutes. The children were also taught about the importance of clean water on their health and general wellbeing.

DSCN2896“Clean water does not only quench thirst, promote health and prevent unnecessary deaths. It means more people can work, and enhances productivity at individual, household, community and national workforce levels. In fact, the World Health Organisation has estimated that every $1 invested in clean water, sanitation and hygiene generates $4 in increased productivity, which enables sustainable and equitable economic growth,” says Mabaso.

Looking towards the future, P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme has pledged to deliver 15 billion litres of clean water globally by 2020. “That’s five billion more litres of clean water in just four years to assist in achieving one of the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme is committed to continuing its work in Africa and the rest of the world, in order to ensure that even more communities have their lives enhanced by this basic human right,” concludes Mabaso.