Partnership aims to reach 1 million in 2021, including 300,000 people in Bangladesh and 70,000 in India
Xylem Watermark, the corporate social responsibility programme of Xylem, and health-focused relief and development organisation, Americares, aim to reach 1 million people in 2021, through their collaboration to improve access to clean water and sanitation. The programme builds on the first year of the partnership, which delivered clean water and sanitation services to over 3.5 million people, helping to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
This year, the partners will provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure repairs and education to frontline healthcare workers and communities across six countries including India and Bangladesh, currently experiencing COVID-19 spikes. In Mumbai, where informal, urban settlement communities are particularly impacted by the second wave of the pandemic, interventions will include rehabilitating WASH facilities at healthcare facilities, serving 70,000 people from the city’s most low-income areas. The partners will also provide WASH assistance to disaster-prone coastal communities in Bangladesh, including those still recovering from Cyclone Amphan.
Austin Alexander, vice-president of sustainability and social impact at Xylem, said: “Washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures in the fight against COVID-19. Through our partnership with Americares we aim to bring this message to life for communities around the world and to empower them through improved access to clean water and sanitation.
“We have a responsibility and opportunity to make water security a reality for the world’s most impoverished communities, and we’re united with Americares in this pursuit.”
Last year, the partnership’s COVID-19 WASH interventions trained 1,600 health professionals across 60 countries in the delivery of WASH education, and constructed or restored 175 WASH facilities. These interventions delivered access to clean, safe water and sanitation for 3.5 million people.
Dr M. Rashad Massoud, senior vice-president and chief programme officer at Americares, added: “This partnership brings together Xylem’s water technology expertise and commitment to increasingly access to clean water with Americares work supporting under-resourced hospitals and health clinics worldwide.
“Clean water and sanitation in health facilities protects both patients and the health workers who make good health possible. Together, we are saving lives and improving health for millions of people in need.”