Diageo announces its five year international partnership with WaterAid

12 Jul 2016 | Press release

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Powerful alliance will advocate and deliver access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene at local, national and global levels.

Diageo has announced a five year international partnership with WaterAid, an international NGO providing access to safe water and sanitation to some of the world’s poorest communities. This will be the first collaboration of its kind for WaterAid; the partners will use their collective influence to advocate universal access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at local, national and global levels and will work together to reach those affected by water scarcity.

This newly formed partnership is built on Diageo’s fifteen year of support for WaterAid with through our flagship Water of Life programme in Africa. The partnership will focus on communities that are most in need of support and are located near or within areas Diageo operates or sources our agricultural raw materials. The projects will build toilet facilities and set up water connections in households and schools by installing pumps and wells - whilst continuing to promote good practice on hygiene and sanitation.

Diageo is already working with WaterAid in Nigeria, which will provide access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene for over 10,000 people. This unification will mean more support for communities in Uganda where we aim to reach more than 3,000 people.

Over the last five years – Diageo has raised over £1m to invest in WaterAid projects managing to transform the lives of over 140,000 people with access to safe water and over 150,000 people with access to a toilet. David Cutter, President Global Supply and Procurement said of the announcement, “This partnership will bring together Diageo’s broad geographical footprint with WaterAid’s great expertise and experience. We will step up our engagement with governments and businesses on the vital need for universal access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene and focus our projects on local communities near our sites and in our supply chain”.

Diageo employees will play an active role in this partnership through fundraising, advocacy, volunteering and training for WaterAid staff and projects globally. The partnership will also help to implement Diageo’s commitment to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development’s “WASH in the Workplace Pledge” which ensures appropriate access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all employees at work.

“WaterAid believes safe water and sanitation are basic human rights, and that the private sector has an important role to play in achieving universal access to water and sanitation. The global water and sanitation crisis requires a joined up and collaborative approach between NGOs, businesses and governments to ensure everyone has safe water and sanitation by the 2030” - Barbara Frost, Chief Executive, WaterAid.