In 2020, Xylem joined forces with Americares, the health-focused relief and development organization, as part of our efforts to bring water security and sanitation to the world’s most impoverished communities. Over the last year, the partnership has delivered clean water and sanitation services to over 3.5 million people, helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. In 2021, we’re aiming to extend that impact and reach a further 1 million people through our continued WASH interventions.
One such intervention is in Namanolo, Malawi, where thieves had stolen and vandalized a water pump powering a health clinic’s borehole. So, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to threaten the community, the health center staff could not access the most precious resource needed for hygiene and sanitation: clean, safe water.
Americares and Xylem not only replaced the pump and built a secure pump house, but also trained health workers, placed hand-washing stations in the community and raised awareness about the importance of hand hygiene. Together, Americares and Xylem have placed nearly 500 similar hand-washing stations in schools and marketplaces in nine countries — from Pakistan to Colombia — where they help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
This comprehensive approach to water and sanitation is at the heart of a multi-faceted, strategic partnership that combines Americares’ global health expertise and network with Xylem’s experience in and commitment to water solutions.
The partnership is bringing real change to communities in need. In 2020, the partnership’s COVID-19 WASH interventions trained 1,600 health professionals across 60 countries in the delivery of WASH education and constructed or restored 175 WASH facilities. Though the immediate priority is to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in health facilities and the community, these projects will improve health for years to come. [CG1]
“Washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures in the fight against COVID-19. Through our partnership with Americares we aim to bring this message to life for communities around the world and to empower them through improved access to clean water and sanitation,” said Austin Alexander, Vice President of Sustainability and Social Impact at Xylem. “We have a unique responsibility and opportunity to make water security a reality for the world’s most impoverished communities, and we’re united with Americares in this pursuit.”
“This partnership brings together Xylem’s water technology expertise and commitment to increasing access to clean water with Americares work supporting under-resourced hospitals and health clinics worldwide,” said Americares Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer Dr. M. Rashad Massoud. “Clean water and sanitation in health facilities protects both patients and the health workers who make good health possible. Together, we are saving lives and improving health for millions of people in need.”
In 2021, the partners will provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure repairs and education to frontline healthcare workers and communities across six countries including India and Bangladesh, currently experiencing COVID-19 spikes. In Mumbai, where informal, urban settlement communities are particularly impacted by the second wave of the pandemic, interventions will include rehabilitating WASH facilities at healthcare facilities, serving 70,000 people from the city’s most low-income areas. The partners will also provide WASH assistance to disaster-prone coastal communities in Bangladesh, including those still recovering from Cyclone Amphan.
Watermark, Xylem’s corporate social responsibility program, provides education and access to safe water to ensure healthy lives, gender equality, and resilient communities.
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Making Waves is news from Xylem, a leading global water technology company. Xylem's solutions include products and services that move, treat, analyze and monitor water.