£20 million raised for global clean water and sanitation projects, and 3.6 million lives changed with safe and sustainable water. Forever. A phenomenal achievement, shared with all of our incredible customers, supporters, donors and ambassadors.

It’s been an amazing journey so far, and one that we are lucky enough to have documented in beautiful images over the years.

Where it all began

In 2003, One’s Founder, Duncan Goose, saw this picture in the Guardian of a little girl in Nairobi waiting by a locked tap. Inspired by this photo and shocked by the statistic that 1 billion people in the world didn’t have access to clean water, he resolved to do something to tackle the global water crisis.

Ann sitting next to a padlocked tap in Nairobi, Kenya
Photo: Marco Longari, AFP

The fight to end water poverty

The One Foundation was born with a simple goal: to change one person’s life, one day at a time. Since then, with the help of our supporters, we have reached over 3.6 million people through our sustainable clean water and sanitation projects. During this time, the number of people without access to clean water globally has reduced to 844 million.

Woman collecting water from open water source

Water is life

Access to safe water and sanitation can help to break the cycle of poverty – unlocking education, work opportunities and improving health.

In The One Foundation’s early years, we focused our funding on the construction of new water points in rural communities –funding a new drilling rig in Malawi in 2013 was a key milestone. To date it has drilled over 200 new boreholes, connecting over 100,000 people to clean water.

Borehole being drilled

Empowering communities and restoring access to water

Whilst working in rural Malawi, we learned that many communities were living without clean water due to broken hand pumps.

In 2013, The One Foundation launched a Pump Repair and Maintenance Programme; repairing water points and training communities to manage and maintain them to ensure on-going sustainability. To date over 650 pumps have been repaired, reconnecting over 239,000 people to a clean, safe water supply.

Men repairing a faulty water pump

Clean water, hygiene and sanitation go hand-in-hand

As well as working to provide clean drinking water, The One Foundation is passionate about investing in sanitation and promoting good hygiene practices.

In 2013, we began building safe toilets in schools after recognising that, without adequate sanitation facilities, girls were dropping out of school when they reached puberty. We’ve since built 19 toilet blocks – like this one in Kenya – and have consequently seen girls’ attendance and exam pass rates soar.

Girls coming out of hygiene and sanitation block

Change at scale

With increased support over the last decade, we’ve been able to expand our reach to urban communities, building infrastructures and partnerships to deliver water as a sustainable, safely managed service to residents.

The One Foundation’s large-scale urban programmes began in Rwanda and have since extended to settlements in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi.

Paying for water at a community water point in Nairobi

Water as a sustainable service for all

The One Foundation is focused on building sustainable systems that will last for generations to come. Our programmes allow families to access affordable, safe water through shared community kiosks or tap stands, or directly into their homes through metered connections.

Woman collecting water from community tap

Cashless water points

In the last 3 years The One Foundation has also invested in community vending stations with tap and pay technology, so that affordable, clean water is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is crucial for many members of poorer communities in low-paid unreliable work, who struggle to manage monthly bills.

A woman using tap and pay technology to collect her clean water

Liquid Potential

Water isn’t just a human right, it’s liquid potential. It helps unlock life’s opportunities; to access education, to live a healthy life, to earn an income and to live in dignity.

Children with their hands up, celebrating

Thank you to all of our supporters and everyone who has been a part of this journey over the years – this is a shared achievement and one we simply could not have done without you.

But now to the future – and we must not stop there. Not with 844 million people in the world still living without access to clean and safe water.

Which is why we’ve made our new target bigger and even more ambitious.

The One Foundation’s new target is to raise £50 million by 2030

…so we need your help more than ever!

Please continue to choose One Water as your water of choice, stock One Water in your shops, cafes and restaurants, donate to or raise money for The One Foundation and, most importantly, help us spread our vision of a world where everyone has access to clean water, forever.

If you would like to help us kick-start our journey to £50 million, you can donate here. Thank you.