Xylem, UNICEF Deepen Partnership to Deliver Vital Water Solutions in Horn of Africa

Published On: April 1, 2024By Categories: Newsline

The Horn of Africa is experiencing extreme weather conditions worsened by climate change, including most recently, heavy flooding and a devastating drought that impacted nearly 37 million people, including 20 million children.

To meet urgent water and sanitation needs, UNICEF and Xylem Inc. are partnering to deliver solutions to severely affected communities in Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

Climate extremes threaten progress towards the UN’s SDG 6—ensuring clean water and sanitation for all. UNICEF’s regional water, sanitation and hygiene (R-WASH) program aims to equip utilities in vulnerable communities to provide resilient, equitable and sustainable services, with an emphasis on communities hosting refugees and those displaced by climate impacts.

“Xylem Watermark is powered by the collective action of our customers, colleagues, and partners like UNICEF, who share a commitment to advancing water security for all,” Vincent Chirouze, managing director for Xylem Africa says. “This evolution of our work together illustrates how collaboration and innovation can address the most pressing water challenges facing communities today.”

Capacity building to ensure long-term water security for communities in East Africa is a core focus of the partnership. Through Xylem Watermark, the Company’s corporate social responsibility program, Xylem colleagues will share technical expertise with UNICEF’s WASH specialists in the region, collaborating to identify new solutions and innovations focused on climate-resilient approaches and technologies, in areas such as solarization of borehole pumping, non-revenue water prevention, and aquifer recharge. Local utility staff will receive hands-on training and up-skilling, and UNICEF will support utilities in the areas of finance and governance.

“Across Sub-Saharan Africa, over 250 million people still lack access to safe drinking water,” says Kitka Goyol, regional adviser, WASH and Climate, UNICEF. “Economic livelihoods can only improve—and health, education, and equality thrive—if all children and their families have access to reliable, affordable water and sanitation services. Our partnership with Xylem is a great example of what can be achieved when we bring the right partners together to create solutions and deliver targeted interventions that directly impact communities in need.”

The Horn of Africa projects will leverage learnings from UNICEF and Xylem’s collaboration to advance water and sanitation access in India, which has reached over 3.3 million people with WASH services and education since 2021. Click here for more information on how to advance water security for all.

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