Merck and Safe Water Network Launch WASH Partnership in India

Merck and the Safe Water Network have announced a three-year, $1.5 million partnership to increase access to safe water and reduce the effects of water-borne disease in impoverished communities in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Building on SWN’s field activities in the region, the collaboration is designed to provide clean water to additional villages in Andhra Pradesh and develop demand-generation programs that increase household usage. The initiative addresses a critical need in India, where an estimated 70 percent to 80 percent of disease is related to water contamination and poor sanitation and where more than a hundred and twenty thousand children under the age of five die each year from rotavirus diarrhea.

Together, Merck and Safe Water Network also will work to increase awareness of the importance of clean water and hygiene and drive behavior change. The campaigns will be assessed to measure their impact on safe water usage and improved health.

"Clean water is fundamental to the world’s health and to Merck’s mission of fighting disease and helping the world be well. Nowhere is this more true than in India, which faces a significant challenge related to clean water," said K.G. Ananthakrishnan, managing director of Merck in India. "Our partnership with Safe Water Network is a testament of our commitment to help reduce the impact of water-related illness in India and of Merck’s overall efforts to improve health globally."

Source: “Merck and Safe Water Network Launch Initiative to Improve Water Access and Help Reduce the Impact of Water-Borne Disease in India.” Merck Company Press Release 3/20/12.

For additional WASH-related philanthropy news, see the news feed on WASHfunders.org.