Cotes, in partnership with UNICEF, is enabling fresh drinking water initiatives to those who need it most.
Because Cotes adsorption dehumidifiers remove unwanted humidity from the air, we wanted to give that which we take. With the help of UNICEF, we give what we take from the air by providing fresh drinking water to those who truly need it most in water-scarce communities across the world, through the UNICEF "WASH" initiative.
The challenges for water, sanitation and hygiene
Today, 450 million children live in areas of extreme water vulnerability. It is estimated that, if we continue like this, by 2040, 600 million children will be living in areas extremely limited to water resources.
This is why UNICEF has committed to protecting the most vulnerable by making social services more resilient and putting children's needs at the heart of key decisions that are being taken and by empowering children to shape their own sustainable futures - which is where the "WASH" initiative begins.
UNICEF’s experts have identified the following climate challenges for water, sanitation and hygiene:
(1) Infrastructures are not strong enough to ensure resilience to climate change
Every day, 700 children under the age of 5 die from diseases related to the lack of appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene services. This cruel situation largely affects the most vulnerable – the 771 million people globally who lack access to basic drinking water services. As this is predicted to worsen as a consequence of climate change.
It is of the utmost importance to connect everyone to water, sanitation and hygiene systems, as well as ensure that these systems are suitable and resilient to extreme conditions.
(2) Children and communities are not empowered with knowledge and skills
Today, nearly 500 million people practice open defecation. It is important for communities to be empowered with knowledge on the safe treatment and disposal of waste, and how faecal contamination causes environmental pollution, enabling the spread of diseases.
But it is also critical to empower communities with knowledge of how climate change can affect their water and sanitation services. For instance, floods can lead the sanitation facilities to overflow, and so contaminate the local drinking water supplies. If properly prepared, communities can safeguard their water and sanitation facilities and prevent diseases from spreading.
(3) Key partners lack the knowledge and skills to engage on climate policies
Establishing strong policies for climate-resilient water, sanitation and hygiene requires the input of many partners, who must possess significant knowledge and expertise. However, there is a lack of qualified professionals in many developing countries. As well as an absence of data on the areas of greatest need.
Equally, many national policies lack the appropriate accountability frameworks to enable citizens to claim their human rights to water and sanitation, as recognized by the United Nations. As duty-bearers for the delivery of water and sanitation services, governments need these accountability policies to understand the needs of their citizens and where services are falling short.
How UNICEF and partners are making a difference
Through strategic partnerships that combine financial investment with the technical expertise of corporations in the WASH programme, UNICEF partners support improving water and sanitation services in communities so they are climate-resilient and the carbon footprint is reduced. This has allowed UNICEF to:
- Strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure to build resilience to today's climate disasters
- Build advocacy skills among adolescents, supporting their engagement with climate policy development
- Empower young people and communities with knowledge and skills for water, sanitation and hygiene.
WE GIVE BACK THE WATER WE TAKE
The Cotes and UNICEF partnership is enabling fresh drinking water initiatives in communities around the world that need it most. In 2022, Cotes donated 70 million litres of fresh drinking water to those who need it most. By 2023, Cotes will give back even more.