Asda has joined forces with Procter & Gamble in a sustainability drive they claim will save tens of thousands of lives by providing clean water.

Under the tie-up, P&G has agreed to donate a day’s supply of drinking water to communities in developing countries each time a customer buys one of its products, including Ariel washing gel, Gillette razors and Oral B toothpaste.

The companies are set to support the drive with a multimillion-pound marketing drive and a spokeswoman for P&G said the aim was to “save a life every hour by 2020”.

Every day, 2,000 children die as a result of diarrhoeal illnesses caused by drinking contaminated water. More children die from cholera and dysentery than from HIV/Aids and malaria combined.

“Asda shoppers can make a special difference in someone’s life - just by doing their weekly shop,” added the spokeswoman.

P&G said it had already invested more than $35m (over £20m) towards clean drinking water and had delivered more than five billion litres of clean drinking water in developing countries.