Xylem Watermark Provides Funds to Address Urgent Water Needs of Refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Dec 17, 2019 2:00 PM ET
A view of the Rohingya refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Bangladesh is experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in history. Since August 2017, Bangladesh has seen an unprecedented influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Among the nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees now residing in the overcrowded camps and settlements in Cox’s Bazar district, 55% are children under the age of 18 and 52% of adults are women.

With support from Xylem Watermark, Mercy Corps has been working with their partner, Terre des Hommes Foundation (TdH) to meet the urgent water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs of refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This funding has enabled Mercy Corps to address ongoing and urgent longer-term water and sanitation needs in Cox’s Bazaar going in to the most recent monsoon season, helping more than 20,000 people with improved water and hygiene access. This is the second allocation that Watermark has made from the WASH Emergency Response Fund.

To ensure that the refugees reached by this program have access to safe and clean water during monsoon season, Mercy Corps worked with TdH to repair and rehabilitate damaged tube wells. TdH has also worked to repair and rehabilitate latrines and washing cubicles. Trained community volunteers also conducted 363 educational sessions on acute watery diarrheal prevention through hygiene practices to 2,178 participants and 344 sessions on water safety to 2,066.

Xylem believes that the vastness of the Rohingya refugee crisis (currently the largest refugee camp in the world) warranted an additional allocation to conduct activities to preserve health, promote dignity and save lives.

About Xylem Watermark

Xylem Watermark, the company’s corporate citizenship program, was initiated in 2008, with a focus on protecting and providing safe water resources around the world and also educating people on water-related issues. The global initiative, which encompasses employee and stakeholder engagement, provides access to clean drinking water and sanitation, and humanitarian emergency response to help communities become more water-secure and sustainable through WASH and Value of Water Education programs. Last year, the program exceeded its three-year goal to log 100,000 employee volunteer hours and engaged ~45 percent of the company’s global employee base.