Access to water and sanitation is a basic human right. However, the United Nations (UN) estimates that at least 1.8 billion people have to drink water contaminated with faeces, while 2.4 billion people lack basic sanitation such as toilets or latrines.
This contributes to nearly 1,000 children dying each day due to preventable diseases and is a major hurdle for the development of both people and nations.
The UN has therefore identified access to water and sanitation as one of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. By 2030, it wants to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, ensure access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene, and end open defecation.
The programme looks to advance solutions, expertise and know-how to address the global water challenge in local communities, as well as internationally. To do this, ‘Water for the World’ focuses on three areas: improving access to safe water and sanitation through local projects; preserving water resources by advancing sustainable water management best practices; and raising awareness in communities and across the value chain.
To maximise the benefit it brings, ‘Water for the World’ works in partnership with NGOs and the private sector, including the partners and customers of Borealis and Borouge. Since its launch 10 years ago, ‘Water for the World’ and its partners have carried out numerous projects across Asia and Africa, including in India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Ethiopia and Kenya, benefiting the lives of around 800,000 people.
Among the many examples of the programme’s work, notable projects include: (i) Providing safe and affordable drinking water to around 50,000 of the poorest people in Nairobi, Kenya. This is the programme’s largest ever project and was carried out in partnership with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and OFID, the OPEC Fund for International Development. A follow-up project in Mozambique is currently being prepared. (ii) Improving water and sanitation facilities for 124,000 patients and workers at Thach Ha District Hospital, in one of Vietnam’s poorest provinces. Water for the World joined with Borouge’s local agent Han Huy Trading and Singapore-based NHO Lien Aid, to carry out this work. (iii) Installing new water supply systems serving more than 5,000 people, after monsoon rains destroyed much of the infrastructure in mountain villages in Northern Pakistan. This project was in conjunction with Pakistan NGO HEED.
“The challenge of ensuring people have access to water and sanitation remains urgent and ‘Water for the World’ will continue its work,” says Borealis CEO Mark Garrett. “Borealis has an important role to play, using our high-quality polyethylene pipes to create long-lasting, resilient and low-maintenance networks,” added Garrett.
“Project after project, we see our creative solutions come to life and make a tangible impact on the communities around us, helping people and driving progress,” said Wim Roels, CEO, Borouge Pte Ltd.
“The first 10 years of ‘Water for the World’ have brought us great experience and pride, and we have exciting plans for the next decade,” commented Ahmed O Abdulla, CEO, Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge).
Borealis and Borouge announced their contributions to communities in need during the International Water Summit held in Abu Dhabi during 15-18 January 2018, where companies from around the world demonstrate the projects they carried out across the world to help people in poor communities have a proper access to fresh water and sanitation. This year, the global event promoted water sustainability in arid regions, which goes in line with the strategic objectives of the ‘Water for the World’ programme.