Partnership Delivers Clean Water and Sanitation to 3.5 Million People in 2020
Paschal Simbota, Americares Projects Manager for Liwonde Area, interacts with Moses and his family at their home in Nkangwangwa village, Balaka southern Malawi on November 16, 2020. Moses and his family are beneficiaries of the water improvements Americares and the partnership with African Parks have made. (Image source: Thoko Chikondi)
The program builds on the first year of the partnership, which delivered clean water and sanitation services to over 3.5 million people, helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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.
“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 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. These interventions delivered access to clean, safe water and sanitation for 3.5 million people.
Xylem Watermark and Americares 2021 WASH Interventions:
- India; Rehabilitate handwashing stations, toilets and water treatment systems in healthcare facilities across Mumbai. The intervention aims to reduce the spread of infection in facilities serving slum communities, as the second wave of Covid-19 continues to impact India's healthcare system.
- Malawi: Enhance access to water for handwashing by improving water systems at three health centers as well as constructing latrines in health centers. The partnership will also deliver WASH training for village health committees, school sanitation clubs and broader communities, with a focus on preventing Cholera.
- Tanzania; The program aims to protect the safety of patients at a district hospital by upgrading the laundry facilities and enhancing access to water and IPC-compliant handwashing stations at a nearby nursing school. Handwashing stations are not widely accessible at health facilities in the country and many of the ones in use are not hands-free.
- Philippines: The pandemic has put extreme stress on a health system that was already under-resourced. The partnership will increase, upgrade or repair water and sanitation systems in health facilities in Cebu and Laguna and train community health workers in promoting safe water practices.
- Honduras: Conduct critical WASH infrastructure repairs and upgrades at a major hospital in Tegucigalpa including rehabilitating and building new bathroom facilities.
- Bangladesh: Conduct WASH interventions to address the needs of disaster-prone coastal communities, including those still recovering from Cyclone Amphan. Activities will include rehabilitating and building new latrines, installing handwashing stations and providing WASH training for health workers and community health promoters.
- Emergency Programs: Americares and Xylem Watermark will train emergency responders in WASH and pre-position WASH kits and equipment for use by Americares response teams during emergencies.
Source: Xylem Inc.