On Saturday, Chelsea Clinton, board member of the Clinton Foundation, visited a remote village near Pathein, Myanmar, to see the partnership between World Vision and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to provide clean water to children.
P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program has provided 6 billion liters of clean drinking water to children and families around the world, a milestone marked on this visit.
In Myanmar, clean water is a critical need. A third of the rural population of 15 million people have no access to it, according to UNICEF. The lack of this resource makes diarrheal diseases one of the leading causes of death for children under 5, illnesses that are preventable with access to clean water.
Gway Dauk Chaung, the village that Chelsea Clinton visited, often becomes waterlogged in the rainy season, polluting the water supply. Children used to drink untreated water from this pond.
Clinton toured the village with Dr. Greg Allgood, director of P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, and Win Zin Oo, World Vision’s director of humanitarian emergency affairs in Myanmar. They crossed a bamboo footbridge to reach Gway Dauk Chaung in western Myanmar. Children in brightly-colored native dress greeted Clinton with flowers.
On this visit, Clinton and Allgood met Phaw Si Hser, 27, mother of three and expecting her fourth child, who told them that because of P&G's water purification program, “My children don’t get diarrhea anymore.”
Clinton and Allgood accompanied Hser and her husband as they collected water from the village pond using buckets.
They brought the water back to the village where Allgood, using the purification powder, began cleaning the water. P&G’s water purification technology uses a powder that can quickly clean up to 10 liters of contaminated water by removing viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can cause diarrhea.
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After sifting out the sediments…
…Clinton held up a cup of clear, clean water!
The children of the village prefer water this way, too; not only are they healthier, but purified water also tastes better!
World Vision and P&G have been working together in Myanmar since 2008 when Cyclone Nargis contaminated or destroyed most water sources. World Vision, which has worked in the country since 1991, responded to the disaster with P&G by providing water purification sachets to remote villages.
“Frequently after disasters, it is clean water that is needed the most,” Clinton said. “So what World Vision is able to do, to ensure that it’s prepared for the disaster relief work, which is so critical, but also how building real, durable relationships with communities like where we are here, is a real testament to World Vision.
“Very few organizations are able to do both: to ensure that they’re working in a sustainable, systems-building way and responding to an urgent call when there’s been a rapid disaster.”