Long-term collaboration continues in India – improving sanitation leads to wide-ranging benefits

Lindstrom has been one of the main supporters of UNICEF’s WASH project for ten years. All of our charitable donations are made to this valuable long-term partnership, which is realised by UNICEF with the aim of improving water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in the poorest areas of India. A project is currently underway in Rajasthan, India’s most populous region, focusing on the tribal areas with the poorest conditions.

In India, more people have mobile phones than toilets. Approximately half of India’s 1.2 billion people live without a toilet of any kind. The majority of Indians live in rural villages where safe, clean toilets are a rarity. The lack of appropriate sanitation leads to illnesses, which give rise to annual losses worth billions of euros to the Indian economy. Inadequate hygiene conditions also have a clear connection to malnourishment and stunted growth, and result in one in ten deaths in the country.

With UNICEF’s help, schools have begun using different toilets for boys and girls, paid attention to the availability of clean drinking water and built hand-washing stations where up to 12 children at a time can wash their hands before meals. In India, 110 million children eat at school every day – using their hands. And washing hands with soap before eating and after using the toilet reduces the spread of diarrhoea infections by more than 40 per cent. Children also take hygiene knowledge home with them and toilets have been built in villages in tribal areas at a rapid rate. It is considered particularly important that girls have access to safe, clean toilets at home. UNICEF’s work shows that change is possible and when it occurs in India, which has a huge population, the change is significant in global terms. We are proud to be involved in this valuable partnership.

UNICEF’s WASH project, which is supported by Lindstrom, aims to improve hygiene conditions in India.