By Jenny Tolep, External Relations & Communications
While the US media has spent a lot of coverage on yellowing lawns and other effects of water restrictions in California, a lack of running water in other parts of the world has far greater consequences. And even with the draught in the western US, water is something most of us take for granted. But in Ethiopia and many developing countries, clean water is limited and highly valued.
Each year, almost 1.5 million children worldwide die from diarrheal and other diseases associated with unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices. This is a significant problem in Ethiopia. According to WaterAid, more than half of the country’s population does not have access to clean water.
To improve upon this problem, Procter & Gamble and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation have worked with PSI to help provide safe water to places in Ethiopia with turbid, unimproved water sources. This is accomplished by expanding the use of household water products. These products are affordable and easy-to-use, improving the quality of drinking water with chlorine-based solutions. The products work by killing bacteria and removing dirt and parasites, making the water safe to drink.
Currently, PSI distributes P&G and Wuha Agar household treatment products in various parts of Ethiopia. So far, 64 million sachets of P&G water purification packets have been dispersed. Additionally, the program has developed educational and promotional materials, and has conducted community-level trainings, market day promotions, religious day events, and water vendor mobilization activities to help promote safe water countrywide.
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Photo Credit: Jackie Presutti