Precious Water - Why Clean Water for This Young Schoolboy Makes My Job Seem Worthwhile

by Maryam Khalid, Assistant Public Affairs Manager at Nestlé Pakistan
Aug 30, 2019 8:00 AM ET

A young boy smiles at the camera in Kabirwala, Pakistan, while his father looks on happily, as they collect clean drinking water. It’s an image that I love, one it motivates me in my work on water as Assistant Public Affairs Manager at Nestlé Pakistan.

We can’t take water for granted

Ammar, that’s the boy’s name, and his father, were benefiting from a facility that we built to provide people with free access to clean drinking water, near our factory in Kabirwala. It’s one of the six facilities that we’ve built across Pakistan in recent years.

I find this photo moving because it shows a scene (access to clean, safe water), that so many of us take for granted. But we can’t afford to do so. Water scarcity affects more than 40% of the world’s population, and the United Nations (UN) estimates that recurring water shortages will affect at least one in four of us by 2050.

My country, Pakistan, faces acute water shortages, and ranks fourth highest in the world in terms of water use. Our ‘water intensity rate’ (how much is used to create a good or service), is the highest in the world, which suggests the economy is water intensive. Pakistan’s water availability per person is falling every year.

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