Nestlé Water Programme – Clean Drinking Water Facilities

Country: Sri Lanka

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
Sep 1, 2013, updated September 2013


Nestlé Water Programme – Clean Drinking Water Facilities
SAFE WATER ON TAP:School boy enjoys clean drinking water from a new facility installed at his school.

The availability of safe drinking water is a major concern for many communities in Sri Lanka, particularly in rural areas. According to the World Bank, only about 10 percent of all Sri Lankan households have water on tap, and one in five people rely on rivers, streams and other unprotected water sources for their drinking water.

Programme description

Since 2006 Nestlé Lanka has financed clean drinking water facilities, starting in villages located near its manufacturing operations, to increase access among rural communities to reliable sources of clean drinking water.  The project is spreading across the island with the aim to establish water fountains in highly frequented and easily accessible public areas, such as schools, hospitals and places of worship.

Value to Society

The clean drinking water facilities are built by drilling deep bore wells and installing water tanks to store the clean water.  The hygienic fountains are tiled for easy cleaning and maintenance, and have multiple faucets. 

To date Nestlé Lanka has opened 14 clean drinking water facilities throughout the island, bringing the number of adults and children benefitting from access to clean drinking water to nearly 18,000.  The provision of these facilities at two well-frequented religious pilgrimage sites in Anuradhapura and Kataragama, respectively, means that countless visitors also have free access to clean drinking water. 

Ten of the 14 clean drinking water facilities have been provided at rural schools.  And with every Nestlé Clean Drinking Water project that is implemented in a school, “water education” becomes part of the school curriculum.  Students are taught about water conservation and the link between clean water, hygiene, health and wellness.  They are encouraged to become “water ambassadors” and to share their knowledge with family members and neighbours, thereby extending the programme’s reach.  

Value to Nestlé

Next Steps

UN Millenium Development Goal

  • 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • 2 Achieve universal primary education
  • 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
  • 4 Reduce child mortality
  • 5 Improve maternal health
  • 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • 7 Ensure environmental sustainability
  • 8 Develop global partnerships