This week Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced their joint collaboration has shared the 5 billionth liter of drinking water cleaned by P&G’s Purifier of Water technology.
“We have teamed up with the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program in a cross-campus collaboration that is saving thousands of lives in Malawi by providing clean drinking water,” said Myron Cohen, MD, director of the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases at UNC. “This far-reaching collaboration is providing service and research opportunities for our students and making a powerful impact on the lives they touch through their work.”
The UNC-P&G collaboration has reached tens of thousands of women and children – women like Lusiya Daniel. Each day, Lusiya collects water from a highly contaminated local well for herself and her nine children. Through the program, she receives P&G Packets at each clinic visit, and was the recipient of the 5 billionth liter of clean water shared by P&G.
“I’m so happy that I’ve been lucky to receive the 5 billionth clean liter,” Lusiya said, “and had there been a radio I would have danced to express the happiness that I have.”
This moment was captured by a team of UNC student videographers, journalists and photographers who traveled to Malawi with the organization Students of the World in an effort to “shine a light on the world’s problem solvers.” Their footage tells Lusiya’s story – the story of the 500 millionth packet used to transform dirty, dangerous water into something clean and drinkable.
“Stories like Lusiya’s reaffirm the importance of forming innovative partnerships to solve complex problems,” said Greg Allgood, director of the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program. “P&G’s technology combined with the expertise of UNC’s Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases created a powerful solution that continues to help save lives and prevent the spread of diseases.”
By providing 5 billion liters of clean drinking water in developing countries, an estimated 200 million days of illness and more than 26,000 lives have been saved by the CSDW Program. The milestone marks progress toward P&G’s commitment to scale up efforts to share clean water and save one life every hour by 2020 by providing 2 billion liters of clean water every year.
This announcement comes near the start of UNC’s new two-year, campus-wide academic theme around water. The campus theme, “Water in Our World,” focuses on ensuring that water is safe and available to people around the world, since access to clean water impacts health, the economy and social development.
About The Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina
Established in 2007, the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases leads and supports the UNC community to improve global health through research, teaching and service programs. To learn more about how UNC is solving the world’s health problems and training the next generation of global health leaders, visit globalhealth.unc.edu.
The P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program (CSDW) is a non-profit initiative that has provided 5 billion liters of clean drinking water to people in need since 2004. CSDW has partnered with a diverse network of organizations to help distribute water purification packets in developing countries. To learn more about the P&G CSDW Program, and see how water purification packets work, please visit www.csdw.org.