Meeting our water replenishment targets and supporting communities through Covid-19

Case study

Maintenance work on a water, sanitation and hygiene programme in Kenya

Access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) can transform communities – especially when hand washing is such an important part of protecting people and communities from Covid-19.

WASH projects play an important part in our water replenishment programme, alongside key water-related projects such as tree planting and rehabilitating dams and ponds. This year we reached over 250,000 people in Africa and India through our WASH projects, which included a range of partnership projects with NGOs that focused on raising awareness of the importance of hand washing in communities combatting coronavirus in India and Africa.

Holistic approach to meet community needs

Our holistic approach means we can build our programmes to meet multiple objectives and make a real contribution to communities while supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In India, for example, our grassroots SHE Project continues to support women's self-help groups. This year, we set up 20 community water purification plants with chillers and water ATMs in the villages of Kamptee, Mauda and Nagpur talukas in Nagpur district. Run by women-led micro-enterprises, these provide communities with an affordable supply of clean drinking water.

In Africa, we combine WASH and water replenishment projects with programmes that raise awareness of issues such as alcohol misuse. In addition, as part of our water replenishment programmes, we have supported large-scale tree planting projects, for example, planting around 175,000 trees across Kenya and Ghana during the year.

Our 2020 replenishment target achieved – and more work ahead

Our water replenishment programmes are targeted in areas of water stress, where water scarcity is a critical issue for our neighbours, as well as our business. That makes it all the more important that this year we achieved our 2020 target of replenishing the amount of water used in our final product in water-stressed areas – and water stewardship will remain a core part of our approach as we plan for the decade ahead.