Kind-hearted Scottish Water customers are being asked to give the gift of water over the festive season to boost health and hygiene in communities without access to basic facilities.
A new campaign running throughout December will see the water and waste water organisation link up with WaterAid.
Customers will be asked to donate to WaterAid which would allow taps, toilets and water pumps to be installed where they are needed most in projects in Malawi and Rwanda supported by Scottish Water employees and the Scottish Government International Development fund.
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“In a year when the need for clean, fresh water and good hygiene have never been greater, giving the gift of water would be an excellent gift this Christmas”
Partnerships Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Water Aid
Shirley Campbell, Scottish Water’s Director for People and WaterAid Committee President, said: “Giving someone the gift of water would be an extraordinary act of kindness at a time of year when we traditionally think of others.
“Having seen for myself in Rwanda how water, taps, pumps and toilets coupled with hygiene practices can save lives, it is heartening to know that communities may benefit further from the generosity of our customers here in Scotland.
“We have a long-standing partnership with WaterAid and the projects being delivered are helping to change lives in communities where such a basic right as access to safe drinking water is not a given. We pride ourselves on the quality of our public tap water in Scotland and our employees are proud to deliver that service for people in this country – and support efforts in places like Rwanda and Malawi where basic needs are much greater.”
Elizabeth McKernan, WaterAid Partnerships Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “We’re thrilled to have this support from Scottish Water to help those less fortunate than we are in Scotland.
“Sadly, access to water – a basic of everyday life – is something that’s still denied to many in countries like Malawi and Rwanda. Having access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, unlocks real hope for communities and this campaign builds on the work we have done with Scottish Water and its employees over many years to make a difference.
“In a year when the need for clean fresh water and good hygiene have never been greater, giving the gift of water would be an excellent gift this Christmas.”
Scottish Water’s support has already helped the international not-for-profit organisation reach thousands of school pupils in Rwanda with decent sanitation and good hygiene, thanks to their partnership with WaterAid and the Scottish Government.
Since the project began in 2017, Scottish Water staff, families and friends have raised vital funds to build inclusive toilet blocks with menstrual hygiene management rooms in 10 schools. This year, rainwater harvesting tanks will be constructed in five schools in Nyamagabe District in Rwanda.
The four-and-a- half-year project aims to improve health and sanitation in vulnerable communities and schools in the Southern Province of Rwanda by 2022. Each year, the project reaches almost 300,000 people with hygiene messages through community and school hygiene clubs - and 90% of schools and households now have access to handwashing facilities. This work has never been more critical to protect the most vulnerable against the global pandemic.
In Malawi, Scottish Water is also backing WaterAid’s ‘Malawi: Deliver Life’ project. The project, also supported by the Scottish Government International Development Fund, plans to reach 141,000 women, girls and children in Machinga and Zomba Districts.
‘Deliver Life’ will in work in 40 communities to deliver clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to 9 Early Childhood Development Centres and 4 Healthcare Facilities. Since it began in 2018, Malawi: Deliver Life project has reached over 9,000 people with clean water and almost 14,000 people with decent toilets. So far, 85 water points have been constructed with a further 20 planned this year.