Diageo has donated $260,000 To WaterAid in an effort to help increase access to clean water in Myanmar. The spirits giant’s donation will fund a two-year, women-led project that will build water treatment facilities in Yangon, Myanmar, providing 10,000 people with clean water.
WaterAid is an international non-governmental organisation, focused on water, sanitation and hygiene. The new project marks the first partnership between Diageo and WaterAid in Southeast Asia. It aims to give 10,000 people access to clean water in households and healthcare facilities through women’s social projects. A further 30,000 people will be reached indirectly through promoting clean water and prevention of diseases.
The project will provide educational and entrepreneurial opportunities in peri-urban Yangon, where a large number of women migrant workers from rural communities reside due to employment opportunities in garment factories. However, a large portion of the population still struggles to access clean drinking water and decent toilets. Responding to this, women will be encouraged to sell clean water produced by newly-built water treatment systems, enabling them to improve their livelihoods, stimulate the local economy, and provide clean water in their communities. Alongside learning new business skills, there will be education on menstrual health and good hygiene, such as handwashing with soap.
One in five people in Myanmar lack access to clean water. In rural communities a lack of water treatment and delivery systems has proved detrimental to women, children, and those with disabilities, and this project will provide such facilities to help improve access to safe drinking water. Local university students will also undertake regular water testing and monitoring in and around the project areas as part of research on water quality data for development work and to promote the importance of clean and safe water in the communities.
Shihab Uddin Ahamad, country director of Water Aid Myanmar, added: “The best way to help women is to ensure their access to clean and safe water first. We are especially thrilled about this project where women will not only get clean and safe water, but also create an opportunity for them to become entrepreneurs and supply safe water for communities.
“We are thankful to Diageo for their social commitment and support for this project. The global water and sanitation crisis needs a collaborative approach between NGOs, the private sector and governments to ensure everyone has clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene by 2030. This project will serve as a step forward in achieving this goal.”