Why it matters
Access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is a basic human right, and yet only seven in 10 people have access to safely managed drinking water services and four in 10 to safely managed sanitation services (WHO/Unicef). As a global business, we recognize our ability to help address the situation and to contribute to providing clean, potable water to people based on local needs and resources.
What we are doing
In 2019, we developed a new Community Relations Process tool to better understand the needs of our communities. We also developed new systems to enhance access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in Ghana. Read more about it in our 2019 progress report.
Demonstrating our commitment
Introducing WASH for business
We achieved our target to provide access to WASH to 600 000 beneficiaries in 2017, three years ahead of time, but that doesn’t mean we will stop there. As of 2019, the establishment of six facilities in Pakistan has provided clean water access to over 60 000 people per day.
Encouraging people in local communities to take ownership of their access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, we have continued to develop water delivery systems, as well as WASH business training and business units in Ghana. This is our most recent project in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The project will provide relief from strain on current potable water sources, which are insufficient for local communities.
Bringing WASH services to Ghana
Safe WASH is a basic human right, yet only seven in 10 people have access to safely managed drinking water (WHO/Unicef). In August 2019, Nestlé built on our partnership with the IFRC to develop a project in Ghana. This initiative saw the installation of a sustainable water system in one community in the Ashanti region and another in the Eastern region, bringing safe, drinkable water to residents. The system works on a prepaid card system, with the money collected going toward system maintenance, making this a self-funding community project.
The instalment of this water system is the most recent development in the Ghana Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project (Ghana-WASH), of which Nestlé is a founding partner. It contributes to our ambition to reach a further 60 000 people in communities, including 16 500 school children in the Ashanti and Eastern regions, from where we source cocoa by 2020. As well as providing infrastructure, we are introducing initiatives such as WASH business training and WASH business units, which will act as franchises, ensuring infrastructure is maintained and money is collected. Through these units, we are empowering community members to take ownership of their WASH facilities.