This year, our customers have reached an incredible milestone – together, you’ve raised over £20 million for WaterAid. These life-changing funds are helping to provide clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene for some of the world’s poorest communities. Here’s a look back at just some of the life-changing impact these funds have made and the 1.3 million lives transformed.
Photo credit: WaterAid/Eliza Powell
Strength in numbers
As part of our support for WaterAid we started giving our customers the option to donate to the charity as part of paying their water bill in 1992. At that time, WaterAid was already working to improve lives across the world by delivering clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to address the water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) crisis.
Our customers have supported WaterAid through its growth and during some remarkable achievements towards bringing an end to the WASH crisis. WaterAid was founded in 1981 and by 2003 had expanded to worked in 15 different countries.
Along the journey, the WaterAid federation has grown to include seven country members: Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Sweden, the UK and the US. In 2002, clean water was declared a human right and, in 2010, decent toilets were declared a human right too.
How your funds are helping
Generous donations from our customers helped make early WaterAid projects like the Hitosa Gravity Scheme possible – at the time, this was the largest single water supply scheme in Ethiopia. Before the project, the region suffered an acute shortage of water meaning that some people had to walk up to 50km to collect water. The project installed pipes from Mount Bada, 400m above sea level to 100 taps around Hitosa, giving 50,000 people access to clean water close to their homes.
Since then, our customers have helped fund many other projects. These funds have brought decent toilets and good hygiene to communities around the world, like the Deliver Life project. From 2016-2019, this project worked with healthcare facilities, midwives and mothers in Ethiopia, Malawi and Rwanda. The project made sure that healthcare facilities had clean water, decent toilets and good sanitation, giving the mothers a safe and dignified place to give birth, and giving their babies the best start in life. The project also provided clean water and toilets in a number of schools. With clean water, children can stay in school rather than having to spend time collecting water, or missing lessons because of sickness. With decent toilets, all children in schools can have a safe, clean place to use the toilet.
Photo credit: WaterAid/James Kiyimba
Tackling fresh challenges during the pandemic
Over the course of the pandemic, our customers helped WaterAid save lives too. The vital importance of having clean water and somewhere to wash your hands was proven more strongly than ever throughout the pandemic. With support from customers, WaterAid was able to distribute simple messages to help keep people safe from COVID-19, as well as keeping water flowing and soap stocked up.
Photo credit: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan
How our people are getting involved
We’re proud to support WaterAid and its life-changing work. As well as the bill insert campaign, our employees help raise funds in a host of different ways – from completing five marathons in five days to sponsored bake sales and fancy dress events.
Together, these donations and fundraising over the years have helped change the lives of over 1.3 million people. Here’s to many more decades of partnership with WaterAid, and showing the power of clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. We can’t wait to celebrate our next milestone with you!
If you’d like to start supporting WaterAid, look out for the leaflet inserted in your next bill or visit wateraid.org/uk today.