The John Lewis Foundation launches partnership with WaterAid to empower artisan communities in India with clean water

21 February 2019

WaterAid has launched a three-year partnership with the John Lewis Foundation, which will help empower communities in Sant Ravi Das Nagar (Bhadohi), India, where John Lewis & Partners carpets are made, by bringing clean water and sanitation to their communities.

The Foundation will donate £100,000 per year to provide 15,000 people in Sant Ravi Das Nagar (Bhadohi) district in Uttar Pradesh with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, while also running a hygiene education programme to reach more than 100,000 people.

Worldwide, one in nine people don’t have clean water close to home, while one in three have nowhere decent to go to the toilet. In India, 163 million people have no clean water close to home and millions more don’t have a decent toilet. 

A lack of access to clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene has a serious impact on health, while millions of women and girls worldwide spend hours each day collecting water, holding communities back from reaching their full potential. 

Miranda Spottiswoode, Partner & Programme Coordinator for the John Lewis Foundation, said: 

“Contributing to the wellbeing of communities in which we operate is our foremost priority. Our shared vision with WaterAid is one of empowerment and improving lives in those in communities. Providing the people of Sant Ravi Das Nagar (Bhadohi) with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene will enable them to live healthier lives, develop new skills, and have more opportunities to earn a living.”

The John Lewis Foundation was established in 2007 to benefit communities in the UK and overseas where John Lewis & Partners operates. It seeks to invest in communities that support the John Lewis & Partners business throughout the world and help them to acquire the relevant skills required for meaningful employment.

WaterAid Director of Communications & Fundraising Marcus Missen said: 

“WaterAid is proud to be working with one of the UK’s most respected brands through our new partnership with the John Lewis Foundation. 

“The business community has an important role to play in reducing poverty worldwide. One in five jobs are linked to global supply chains. By investing in water, sanitation and hygiene provision in their supply chains, businesses can help improve the health of whole communities, having a positive impact on their education and livelihoods while also increasing productivity. We are delighted that the John Lewis Foundation has seized the opportunity to drive change across the world through this new initiative. Their support will help transform the lives of communities that play an important role in the carpet supply chain.” 

WaterAid works with local partners in 28 of the world’s poorest countries to bring lasting solutions to communities, while also working with the government to influence policy and practice. 


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Yola Verbruggen, Senior Media Officer, [email protected] or +44 (0)207 793 4909,
or Laura Crowley, PR manager, [email protected]  or +44 (0)207 793 4965 

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Notes to Editors:

John Lewis & Partners 

John Lewis & Partners operates 51 John Lewis & Partners shops across the UK (37 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as The retailer stocks around 350,000 separate lines in its department stores and on across fashion, home and technology. This year John Lewis & Partners won, 'Best Multichannel Retailer 2018', 'Best Clothing Retailer 2018', and 'Best Furniture Retailer 2018' at the GlobalData Retail Customer Satisfaction Awards 2018. John Lewis Finance offers a range of comprehensive financial services products - including Insurance, Foreign Currency, International Payments and the Partnership Card - delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand


WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to clean water and sanitation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit, follow @WaterAidUK or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at

  • 844 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.[1]

  • 2.3 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]

  • Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's more than 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]

  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]

  • Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.[5]

  • To find out if countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, see the online database


[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines


[4] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage