Xylem partners with UNICEF to deliver water solutions in Horn of Africa

The Horn of Africa is experiencing extreme weather conditions worsened by climate change, including most recently, heavy flooding and a drought that impacted nearly 37 million people, including 20 million children.1 To meet urgent water and sanitation needs, UNICEF and global water technology company Xylem have partnered to deliver solutions to communities in Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

UNICEF’s regional water, sanitation and hygiene (R-WASH) programme aims to equip utilities in vulnerable communities, with an emphasis on communities hosting refugees and those displaced by climate impacts.

Through Xylem Watermark, the company’s CSR programme, its colleagues will share collaborate with UNICEF WASH specialists in the region in areas such as solarisation of borehole pumping, non-revenue water (NRW) prevention, and aquifer recharge.

“Xylem Watermark is powered by the collective action of our customers, colleagues, and partners like UNICEF, who share a commitment to advancing water security for all,” said Vincent Chirouze, managing director for Xylem Africa.   

Local utility staff will receive hands-on training and upskilling, and UNICEF is said to support utilities in the areas of finance and governance, in alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 — ensuring clean water and sanitation for all. A focus of this partnership is capacity building to ensure long-term water security for communities in East Africa.

“Across sub-Saharan Africa, over 250 million people still lack access to safe drinking water,” added Kitka Goyol, regional adviser, WASH and climate, UNICEF. “Economic livelihoods can only improve — and health, education and equality thrive — if all children and their families have access to reliable, affordable water and sanitation services.”

The Horn of Africa projects will leverage learnings from UNICEF and Xylem’s collaboration to advance water and sanitation access in India, which has reached over 3.3 million people with WASH services and education since 2021.    

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Image: Unsplash)

1 UN. UNICEF in the Horn of Africa. <https://www.unicefusa.org/what-unicef-does/where-unicef-works/africa/horn-africa >