WaterAid: Securing access to clean water

Through our long-standing partnership with WaterAid we’ve supported Covid-19 relief efforts in Lahan in Nepal.

Anglian Water has a long-standing partnership with the charity WaterAid, which transforms lives by improving access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene in the world’s poorest communities: more important than ever during the pandemic.

The Beacon Project, led by Anglian Water and our alliances, supported pandemic relief efforts in Lahan in Nepal by providing 25 contactless hand-washing stations and donating PPE.  

We also worked with the Nepal Water Supply Corporation to increase the times when water is available by over an hour each day - a hugely positive step at any time, but never more so than when hand washing and personal hygiene are so crucial in the fight against Covid-19. 

Tea shop owner Bindeswar Sahu, Lahan

“I had placed a small bucket with water and soap in my tea shop to wash our hands, but it was difficult to use. Now, I wash my hands at least six to seven times and request all my customers to do the same.”

With repeated lockdowns meaning little to no ability to meet in person, fundraising for WaterAid has been difficult this year. Nonetheless the WaterAid Volunteers’ Committee has hosted virtual ‘lockdown’ quizzes and a cycling challenge, as well as continuing with payroll giving and the WaterAid Lottery. Total funds raised in 2020/21 were £334,701 (2020: £1,366,274), while Anglian Water Group donated a further £40,000. 

The Beacon Project 

The Beacon Project is a unique and innovative collaboration between Anglian Water, its Alliance partners, WaterAid UK, WaterAid Nepal, the Nepal Water Supply Corporation and academic partners and suppliers across the UK and Nepal.  

It was born from the recognition that as an industry-leading water company, we have more to offer WaterAid beyond the financial donations we already make (more than £8 million raised by the Anglian Region Water Aid Committee since 1989 in addition to our corporate donations). We have highly relevant knowledge, skills, expertise and a desire to share them.   

The project seeks to provide a safe, clean supply of water that is secure and resilient and sanitation provision that is both dignified and appropriately managed, to the people of Lahan in Nepal.  

Importantly, these aims are to be achieved by ‘working with’ rather than ‘doing to’ the people living in Nepal and in a way that is sustainable and replicable. This means taking the time to provide training and build capacity within our in-country partners and equipping them with the skills they need for the future.   

By demonstrating the power of this collaborative approach, the Beacon Project aims to shine a light and forge a path for others to follow and expand on.