The Procter & Gamble (P&G) Company will build a new manufacturing facility for its PUR™ Purifier of Water packets in Singapore that is expected to be able to produce more than 200 million packets a year to help provide clean drinking water across the world.
P&G’s current manufacturing plant is based in Pakistan. The new site in Singapore will enable a significantly expanded supply of PUR packets and exceptional access to ocean and air shipping routes, which are needed to quickly reach P&G’s non-profit partners in Africa and Asia.
The announcement was made at Singapore International World Water Week. The P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program (CSDW) program has provided more than 350 million liters of clean drinking water in Asia as part of ongoing disaster relief efforts like the October 2009 earthquake in Padang, Indonesia, the company said.
The PUR packets contain a water-purifying powder technology developed by P&G and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help reduce sickness and death resulting from drinking contaminated water. One small PUR packet produces 10 liters of drinking water.
P&G will also launch new Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) programs in Cambodia, the Philippines, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe with World Vision International; in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Namibia with Population Services International (PSI); and, in Ethiopia and Kenya with CARE.
These CSDW programs are expected to provide an additional 400 million liters of clean drinking water in the next two years to enable P&G and partners to provide a cumulative four billion liters between 2007 and 2012.
P&G had originally intended to produce PUR packets commercially, but three years of test marketing in four countries returned mostly low penetration rates as well as a weak return on investment. P&G couldn’t sustain on its own the large-scale social marketing efforts needed to get poor consumers to adopt household water treatment practices using PUR packets. Since 2004, the company donates PUR packets or provides them at cost through its non-profit CSDW partners.
A 2009 scientific review concluded that the widespread promotion of household water treatment (HWT) is premature given the available evidence.
Related web site: P&G – Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program
Related publication: USAID Global Development Alliance. (2010). Safe Drinking Water Alliance : experiences in Haiti, Ethiopia, and Pakistan : lessons for future water treatment programs. Baltimore, Maryland USA, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. Read more
Source: Procter & Gamble, 30 Jun 2010 ; Erik Simanis, At the Base of the Pyramid, MIT Sloan Management Review, 20 Oct 2009