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Water Programme update

WWF is working to improve river management practices in the Mekong river basin

The HSBC Water Programme has helped to transform hundreds of thousands of lives around the world in its first two years. The USD100 million programme is a partnership between HSBC, WaterAid, WWF and Earthwatch. It aims to tackle water challenges in different countries and will run until the end of 2016.

HSBC's flagship environmental programme has already helped many communities, with WaterAid having provided sanitation to more than 500,000 people, and safe drinking water to more than 400,000.  WWF is helping farmers, fishermen and small businesses to adopt sustainable practices, while Earthwatch is training HSBC employees to monitor the health of local rivers.

The programme has already helped many communities, with WaterAid having provided sanitation to more than 500,000 people

By the end of 2013, the Water Programme partners had:

  • Provided more than 400,000 people with safe water and more than 500,000 with sanitation
  • Organised hygiene education sessions in more than 1,500 schools
  • Supported the introduction of 15 new fish conservation zones in Thailand
  • Completed river flow studies to improve the management of the Ganges and Mekong river basins
  • Set up urban freshwater research projects in 24 cities

WaterAid, WWF and Earthwatch all attend World Water Week in Stockholm to talk about their achievements and ambitions for the future. The annual event, which runs from 31 August – 5 September, brings together scientists, politicians and businesses to discuss water and development.

Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, HSBC India, told delegates at the event that cooperation was essential to resolve issues of water scarcity.  She said: “Reconciling the competing needs of water for agriculture, industry, power generation, hygiene and access to drinking water is a complex task, especially where river networks cross regional and national boundaries. Ultimately, health, development and economic growth all depend on water. We can make progress by motivating and enabling communities, businesses and charities to play their part.”

There are plans to build on the progress so far, with five-year targets including: encouraging 100,000 people to learn about water challenges and participate in fresh water monitoring; providing access to safe water for 1.1 million people and sanitation for 1.9 million in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria; and ensuring new practices are implemented to protect the Yangtze, Ganges and Mekong river basins, the Pantanal and the African Rift Valley.

Find out more about the HSBC Water Programme on The Water Hub,

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