The Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program celebrated the creation of its one billionth liter of clean drinking water Tuesday at a rural clinic near Ibadan, Nigeria. Using a packet of water clarification and disinfectant developed by Procter & Gamble, a former company official, John Pepper, helped transform cloudy contaminated water into clear, clean drinking water in a matter of minutes before a crowd of local residents and Nigerian officials.
“This milestone event marks both a humanitarian triumph and a technological achievement,” said the former P&G Chief Executive Officer. “But what really matters is that we are helping to save lives. The Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program has provided 1 billion liters of clean drinking water through a variety of strong partnerships and emergency relief efforts in Africa and around the world.”
Also on hand was the First lady of Oyo State, Nigeria, Mrs. Kemi Alao Akala, who strongly endorsed the efforts to help more than 66 million Nigerians in need of safe drinking water. A local woman who accesses her drinking water from a heavily contaminated well, Mrs. Taiwo Faruna, accepted a year’s supply of PUR packets for her family including her twelve month old son, Oluwasegun Faruna, who accompanied her to the ceremony.
The Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program is a not-for-profit program founded by P&G as part of its global cause – Live, Learn and Thrive (TM) – aimed at improving life for children in need. The program works
with more than 30 partners and has committed to provide 2 billion liters of clean drinking water using the PUR water purification packets within the next five years.
P&G’s lifesaving technology uses small packets or sachets to disinfect water. Each sachet works like a mini-water treatment plant removing dirt, cysts and pollutants while killing bacteria and viruses in contaminated water in less than 30 minutes, ten liters at a time.
“While we’re pausing to celebrate this milestone, we know that it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the need. We can’t rest while more children are dying from waterborne illness than die from HIV/AIDS and malaria,” said Greg Allgood, Ph.D., Director, Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program at P&G.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion people around the world do not have access to clean, safe water. Every day, more than 4,000 children die from diseases caused by drinking unsafe water. These deaths are preventable, and there are proven, scalable, and cost-effective solutions such as the PUR packets that can dramatically improve water quality and potentially save a huge number of lives.
Pepper said P&G is committed to providing billions more liters of clean drinking water and helping address the crisis of children dying needlessly from cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery.
P&G has recently created a way for people to contribute directly to the program via GIVEPURWATER.org. One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go to P&G partners providing clean drinking water in the developing world.