Access to clean water and sanitation is a top challenge for tea workers. © Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images
Access to clean water and sanitation is a top challenge for tea workers. © Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Twinings pays to improve water and sanitation for tea workers

27 August 2019

Tea company Twinings has partnered with the charity WaterAid to provide clean water systems and sanitation projects for tea plantation workers in Darjeeling, India.

Twinings will provide £220,000 in funding for the project, under which towards WaterAid will build a “piped water supply system”, toilets, and waste management systems over the next two years. 

This will support around 4,000 people from 30 villages across two tea estates in Darjeeling, a district in West Bengal.

Tim Wainwright, chief executive at WaterAid, said: “We aim to establish effective and sustainable systems to ensure this partnership will have long-lasting effects for thousands of people. 

“In addition to this, we will be working with Twinings to measure the economic benefits of improved access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to encourage other companies and their supply chains that this is a worthy investment that not only improves people’s lives but that of the bottom line too.” 

The programme also involves educational programmes on water hygiene and menstrual hygiene management to support female workers and decrease risks of infection. 

This can ensure better living standards for communities and help prevent waterborne diseases commonly caused by contaminated fresh water supplies and bad hygiene. 

Wainwright said water and sanitation was “one of the most pressing challenges for tea workers and their families in Darjeeling”.

Bob Tavener, CEO at Twinings, said: “At Twinings, we are always working to understand the needs of people who live and work in tea-growing communities and to find ways to improve conditions and livelihoods.

“When we fill the kettle to make a cup of tea, we take for granted the seemingly endless supply of safe, clean water that flows. But this is a privilege not available to millions of people in many parts of the world.”

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