Clean water has always been an issue that’s close to our hearts, so when the opportunity to support WaterAid projects presented itself, we jumped at the chance to help.
A good friend of Ecover, WaterAid is a charity that works to defend what it believes is every person’s basic right – the right to clean water. For over 30 years, WaterAid has been helping some of the world’s poorest communities in 26 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific region access clean water, sanitation and hygiene. WaterAid believes in giving communities ownership of projects, using simple, low-cost solutions that are easy for communities to maintain. By educating communities about sanitation and hygiene, the solutions WaterAid puts in place can be sustained for future generations. WaterAid’s work has saved countless lives, and we’re delighted to be partnering with them on one of their latest projects.
In rural Ethiopia, the first project aimed to give 14,750 people access to safe water and sanitation, starting with protecting five springs, constructing eight hand-dug wells with hand-pumps and installing rainwater harvesting systems for both schools and health centres. The project provides improved sanitation by constructing traditional pit toilets serving 1350 households and safe waste disposal pits for 1600 households and gives locals hygiene training and promotion. To ensure the project’s ongoing success, WaterAid will also establish 18 water and sanitation committees and train water technicians and community health educators.
Having worked so closely with WaterAid, we know just how precious water is, which is why we don’t take one drop for granted. For example, both our factories have a living, green, Sedum roof that needs very little water – but if it does get a little dehydrated during the summer months, we use the rainwater we’ve collected. In our French factory, rainwater is also used for flushing the toilets.
The materials we use to make our products are so gentle and biodegradable you can even re-use your grey (waste) water in your garden. All we advise is that you give the bucket a couple of days to start the biodegradation process and then splosh!
So far, the projects in Ethiopia have been a great success. As a result of this work, more people will have access to life-saving clean water and sanitation and the knowledge needed to stay healthy.