Water is a key resource for H&M and essential throughout our value chain. In our work and partnership with WaterAid, the focal point is to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) in countries where H&M operates. WaterAid is an international non-governmental organisation focused on improving access to these basic human rights in developing countries.
Lack of safe water and sanitation in Bangladesh
Today Bangladesh is facing a water crisis. The crisis is not caused by a lack of water. Instead, climate change and groundwater quality are posing greater challenges to Bangladesh’s access to safe water. In addition, the low-income population, commuters and floating population(1), are often deprived access to decent public sanitation facilities.
This leaves numerous people with no choice but to openly defecate. Women and children are put at particular risk and exposed to harassment and indignity. Further the lack of access to both safe water and sanitation has a severe negative impact on health and the local environment. As a result, people are trapped in a cycle of poverty and diminished opportunities.
Access to safe water and sanitation are included in the UN Millennium Development Goals. The United Nations developed the Millennium Development Goals to halve extreme poverty by 2015.