This week it’s World Water Week and the theme this year is how water relates to sustainable growth. Safe water is a basic of life, and the basis of sustainable food, health and sanitation and a healthy environment. Yet around the world 1.8 billion people still don’t have access to an improved source of drinking water, leading to 1.6 million deaths every year from diarrhoeal disease like cholera[i].
Lack of access to safe water is not just a health issue it can be a source of conflict, it limits productivity and economic growth, and climate change will only exacerbate the situation.
Taking action now, to increase provision of safe water is a huge opportunity to change lives. The World Health Organisation estimates that every dollar invested in the provision of safe water delivers up to eight dollars in benefits[ii].
A safe source of drinking water means families can remain healthier and can spend more time at school and work – improving their education, future prospects and incomes. It saves significant spend on healthcare costs, freeing up disposable income for other items like food or education – in fact, it’s estimated that people could save $7.3 billion every year in healthcare costs if everyone had access to safe water[iii].
Case Study: Jaguar Land Rover - Building employee engagement with a safe water programme
“The project has brought together people from across our organisation and will deliver a lasting legacy to a whole generation of school children across Bungoma, truly creating opportunities so the pupils can have a brighter future.” Lorna Macaulay, Jaguar Land Rover’s Market Sustainability Manager
Jaguar Land Rover wanted to increase employee engagement and understanding of its Global CSR Programme, whilst delivering against its overall corporate CSR goals.
The ClimateCare team set about identifying an opportunity for the company to invest in a project that would help deliver against its corporate responsibility target to create opportunities around the world for 12 million people by 2020, and provide an effective employee engagement programme, aligned with the company’s employee recognition and retention goals.
Recognising Jaguar Land Rover’s focus on technology and innovation, ClimateCare designed an activity that used smart technology to deliver Safe Water to Schools. The programme is bringing award-winning LifeStraw water purification technology to 375 schools across western Kenya – giving over 300,000 school-children access to safe water at school and the chance of a better education and future.
Over 3,500 employees across the company were considered for the opportunity to get involved with the programme, with seven successful candidates finally selected. The seven employees from across the company were able to launch the programme in Kenya, helping install LifeStraw Community water purifiers at the first 19 schools. They trained pupils and teachers in the importance of safe water, filter maintenance, use and upkeep – helping to ensure access to safe water for the pupils at each school.
Each of the employees returned from a transformative experience with the drive and determination to engage their colleagues across the business with the CSR programme.
They also benefitted from new skills and confidence that is helping improving their performance and the group developed into a strong international team that continues to work together across locations and job functions.
The team are using blogs, video diaries and photography they created during their experience to support communications to their colleagues– meaning that over 6000 employees will hear first-hand how Jaguar Land Rover is using smart technology to deliver a CSR programme aligned to its own business.
The benefits don’t stop there. Safe water solutions can reduce the number of people boiling water, helping tackle climate change by cutting carbon emissions and protecting forests from deforestation. While a safe water source close to home can reduce the time women and girls have to spend collecting water.
Businesses who support provision of safe water to communities have found that done correctly, there are business benefits for them too. As a CSR programme this is a hugely engaging activity for staff members and for many it has helped them engage support for water saving efficiencies across their own operations.
By providing safe water to communities their business relies on – for example within their own supply chains or key markets – organisations can go a step further. Making investment in the long term sustainable future of their business, by improving health and efficiency, increasing disposable income and building positive brand value. In addition, working alongside governments to provide basic water services helps build positive relations and maintain a license to operate and grow.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
Transform lives and your business by providing communities with safe water.
At ClimateCare we take time to understand your business and design programmes that use your budget to maximum effect. We use innovative mechanisms to provide safe water cost effectively and at scale and can create bespoke projects to benefit communities of your choice.
Here are some priority projects that are currently looking for support. Please contact us to discuss how you can help.
Cut global carbon and provide safe water
Support our award winning LifeStraw Carbon for Water project. You will help provide safe water to 4 million people in the Western Province of Kenya.
And at the same time, you will cut global carbon emissions that you can use to offset your business’s own carbon footprint.
This integrated programme provides households with gravity fed, smart water filters that require no electricity or consumables. This is supported by ongoing education and maintenance programmes. The project was selected by the United Nations as a ‘lighthouse project’.
Maintain water infrastructure in Uganda
All too often communities that have received improved water infrastructure such as hand pumps or boreholes resort to using contaminated water sources when these break down.
This project works with the community to put water service agreements in place. Training local engineers who are then contracted to lead preventative maintenance and tasked to ensure facilities are maintained and fully functioning.
Bring safe water to schools in Rajasthan
In Rajasthan only 46% of schools have drinking water facilities and many are not safe. Our tried and tested approach delivers quick, cost effective and comprehensive programme that provides schools across the region with smart water filters, education, training and monitors use of the system. Prefects are selected and trained to share responsibility for the technology amongst children. Teachers are trained to ensure effective use and maintenance.
Provide safe water to 50 health centres in Kenya
Help some of the most vulnerable in the community by providing safe water to health centres for the first time. Whilst many health centres have access to piped water, this is often drawn direct from rivers and easily contaminated sources. Provide smart water purification technology and safe water for the first time to around 3000 patients a day in Kenya. Projects also available in India.
Help 50,000 school children in Vietnam
Across Vietnam, 12% of deaths in children under five result from diarrhoea and in this region – the Thach That district – an estimated 70% of the population lack access to safe water, relying on boreholes, lakes and rivers for their water supply.
Support this project over the next three years, and you’ll directly enable 50,000 school-children to access safe water at school for the first time, creating opportunities for improved health and learning and creating positive social impacts.
Sustainable Agriculture in Kenya
The Ngusishi River is a small stream serving commercial farms and community groups. Consultation has been carried out through an association formed to ensure all stakeholders have access to adequate water for drinking, irrigation/farming and livestock. A particular need has been sited to help save water and improve yields for 8000 small holder farmers through the provision of Drip irrigation kits and training to replace inefficient irrigation methods.
By supporting this project, you will make this a reality ensuring that these farmers have enough food and water for themselves and their livestock. You will conserve scarce water resources and reduce carbon emissions associated with inefficient agricultural technologies the drip irrigation systems replace.