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Access to water, sanitation and hygiene

African woman carrying water

Our commitment

Raise awareness on water conservation and improve access to water and sanitation across our value chain


Access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is a basic human right, which we are committed to protecting. As a global business, we use our scale to ensure more people around the world have clean, drinkable water.

Demonstrating our commitment

For Nestlé, establishing effective WASH initiatives in our local communities is crucial and requires the support of stakeholders across our entire value chain. In 2015, we launched detailed guidelines for respecting the human right to WASH. Five years later, these standards have been implemented across our operations and in key agricultural supply chains.

We know that different communities have different priorities. To make sure our initiatives have the greatest possible impact, we have developed a Community Relations Process (CRP) tool. Through this innovative mapping tool, we can identify key community stakeholders to engage in discussions on tailored WASH interventions.

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Supporting Kenyan communities during COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, access to WASH could be the difference between life and death. Our response has been immediate and decisive. We donated nearly CHF 110 000 to support people in need through our partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Kenya Red Cross Society.

This money served two purposes. A portion of it was redistributed to vulnerable households throughout Samburu County in the form of cash and food supplies. The remainder financed the installation of a solar-powered water pumping system, as well as water storage and distribution facilities, and the circulation of crucial sanitation and hygiene information.

COVID-19 support in Kenya

Developing the Africa WASH Coronavirus Grant

Keeping people in our local communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a top priority for us. Throughout 2020, we donated CHF 1 million to eight sub-Saharan African countries – Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal and South Africa ‒ through our Africa WASH Coronavirus Grant.

The most immediate requirements included establishing community water supplies and handwashing points to aid hygiene in public areas. We also distributed kits containing soap, personal protective equipment (PPE), nappies, female sanitation products, buckets and brooms to the most vulnerable households.

Furthermore, we harnessed our capabilities to raise awareness of COVID-19 and its symptoms, helping share valuable information through publications and digital campaigns.

During this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we are extremely grateful to Nestlé’s employees. Your generous contributions to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will allow our volunteers to support more local communities around the world in these very challenging times. This support is part of a much broader, long-standing partnership with Nestlé that has allowed IFRC to provide access to safe water and sanitation to vulnerable communities around the world and to reach thousands of people affected by disasters and crises.

Jagan Chapagain Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies