The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015 and put in place to manage various aspects of sustainability across its 193 Member States. The initiative consists of 17 goals, including good health and well-being, no poverty, and clean water and sanitation. UNICEF has worked with many groups in different countries over the years to ensure access to clean water for drinking and hygiene purposes, and until now it has operated with minimal input from technology.
Partnering with Xylem, a company that was formed to tackle pressing water challenges, UNICEF will leverage its technological capabilities to optimise the way it provides clean water to Indian communities who are yet to receive it.
At present, there is still a quarter of children in India who lack the necessary clean water supply for a healthy lifestyle, and half of the schools are unable to provide adequate hygiene facilities. Working with Xylem, UNICEF will leverage its water technology to reach a larger number of communities to fulfil its goal of increasing awareness of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
How will digital technology solve the water problem?
Xylem has technology solutions for multiple water applications, including construction, aquaculture, energy, mining and residential. Through various brands, the company provides multiple components as well as technologies for managing the conditions of water systems.
As a result, Xylem is able to leverage data to continuously monitor more than 830 miles of water pipeline across 48 different countries, carry out inspections of pipe walls, and detect leaks in pipework.
Nitin Bhate, Managing Director of Xylem India, expresses his excitement to be working with UNICEF to provide access to water. ‘We are proud to be associated with this remarkable program to help make India water-secure’, says Bhate. ‘This builds on Xylem’s work to provide our customers across India with innovative solutions to water challenges, and on our broader efforts to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation for vulnerable communities through Xylem Watermark’.
Nicolas Osbert, Chief of WASH at UNICEF India, says ‘We’re excited to partner with Xylem Watermark who will be investing in improving services and practices that fulfil a child's right to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), notably in their learning environment, more so when it’s crucial to bring them back to schools safely amid COVID-19’.
He continues, ‘UNICEF remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring equitable access of WASH through cost-effective interventions within 45,000+ schools across India. Not only could this partnership benefit more than 3 million children, but it contributes to achieving the global SDG-6, where the private sector’s contribution is pivotal’.
Xylem has worked with UNICEF on previous projects, including supporting the COVID-19 relief efforts to reduce transmission of the disease, by promoting better hygiene and more frequent washing of hands. The global project was successful in reaching over 3.3 million people with preventative measures and also supplied necessary hygiene products to 117,000.
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