Announced at a ceremony hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Procter & Gamble Company and leading humanitarian organization, CARE plan to provide more than 100 million liters of clean drinking water in Kenya and Ethiopia through an investment of over $1 million dollars. The organizations came together on World Water Day to announce the grant and to celebrate the milestone of the 100th school in Kenya provided with clean drinking water through their partnership, which focuses on enabling students to be agents of change.
In addition, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced P&G’s commitment to the newly formed US Water Partnership, a public-private effort to unite and mobilize expertise and resources to address water challenges around the globe. P&G will sit on the 2012 Steering Committee of the US Water Partnership and continue to focus efforts on sharing clean drinking water through partnerships like the CARE schools program.
“Introducing the P&G water purification packets to a community through school programs has a dramatic impact,” explained Greg Allgood, Director of the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program. “Children are empowered by the ability to transform their drinking water, and take that knowledge home to their families. By investing in children, we enable them to make a difference every day in their communities.”
The collaboration was initiated in Kenya in 2007 to explore ways to provide clean drinking water and teach simple hand washing behaviors to students. CARE trains two teachers in each school as patrons of the program in that school. Patrons are responsible for teaching improved hygiene behaviors, including hand washing, either directly or through school hygiene clubs. The program provides over 17,000 liters of clean drinking water each day to students and their families. Today, the program celebrates bringing clean water and sanitation education to St. Linus Nzoia Primary School in western Kenya.
“P&G and CARE have brought us a way to have clean water,” Said Stephen Opondo, Head Teacher at St. Linus Nzoia. “We are very pleased that now we will have healthy school children free of dysentery.”
An evaluation of the program identified a reduction in school absenteeism of more than 25%, and because students took the messages home, there was nearly a 3-fold increase in household water treatment.
“P&G purification water packets are an effective way to bring clean water to people,” explains Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA. “CARE uses the P&G packets to bring safe drinking water to homes in Ethiopia, and in Kenya we use them to provide clean water to school children, to support expectant mothers in remaining healthy and to help prevent the spread of disease, including HIV/AIDS.” She added “They are also an important part of our global emergency response programs.”
The collaboration will support CARE’s distribution of P&G water purification packets to reach over 350,000 people through community-based programs in schools and clinics in Kenya and in areas affected by severe drought in Ethiopia. The effort will also pre-position packets for emergency response.
“The work being done through this partnership is a perfect example of our company’s Purpose in action,” said Stanislav Vecera, Vice President for P&G South & East Africa. “P&G improves the lives of Africans through its innovative brands, dedicated employees, and educational and social programs made possible by partnership with others.”
School, clinic and community programs and disaster response are part of P&G’s long-term commitment to save one life every hour by providing purified water around the world. These efforts were most recently recognized by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who presented P&G with the Award for Corporate Excellence for improving the lives of consumers in Nigeria and Pakistan. To date, CSDW and its partners have shared over 4.5 billion liters of clean water and estimate more than 24,000 lives have been saved.
Source: CSR Africa.Net – 25 March 2012