We take for granted in the UK how easy it is for us to access clean water. But in many regions, it’s not a given. Around the world, over 884 million people don’t have access to clean water and sanitation.

It’s easy to forget the basic dignity access to safe water affords: not having to wash in public, being able to wash your clothes, bathe your children and cook without having to walk miles.

I travelled to Nairobi, Kenya to see the difference that can be made. At informal settlements unlicensed traders are selling illegal water, charging families up to 100 times what it should cost. Sadly, the water they supply is often unsafe to drink. The alternative of a four hour round trip to collect water for their families means they’re forced to pay this illegal premium every day, leaving them trapped in poverty. But when I met the families, I saw how the infrastructure we and our partners have built is transforming lives.

Every drop has the power to send a child to school in good health, and with sanitation at that school. Every drop has the power to help start a community water kiosk and livelihood for a family.

This is why the work we’re doing with Water Unite and the One Foundation is so important to me. Both of these charities share our values – they’re committed to ending water poverty.

I’m so proud to announce that we’ve raised over £10 million to tackle global water poverty, just by choosing Co-op water. This has changed 1.9 million lives in communities around the world for the better.

We make it easy for our customers to make a difference. When they buy a bottle of Co-op water, 3p per litre is donated to The One Foundation and if they choose a bottle of branded water they’ll make a donation of 1p per litre to Water Unite. This is all part of our Future of Food ambition – to be leaders in tackling global poverty.

World Water Day is just another example that collectively we can make a real difference.

CJ Antal-Smith
Trading Director – Ambient and BWS