Planet Water Foundation, one of the foremost non-profit organisations concentrating on bringing clean, drinkable water to the most disadvantaged communities all over the world, raised awareness about the global water crisis on 22nd March, World Water Day, by setting up 24 clean water filtration systems (AquaTowers) in 24 communities stretched over five countries. In 24 hours.
Created and developed by Planet Water, Project 24 is a burgeoning awareness and communications platform that distributes all 24 of its AquaTowers while also delivering Water-Health and Hygiene Education programmes on World Water Day. Communities in the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Colombia, and Cambodia were backed by benefactors, and some corporate partners sent their staff and stakeholders to take part in these projects.
Each AquaTower costs around US$15,000 to deploy and utilise, but this cost includes five years of water quality monitoring, post-project sustainability support, and the enforcement of the hygiene education programme from Planet Water. The AquaTowers are usually financed by organisations devoted to the corporate and social responsibility (CSR) around water and hygiene drives, much like Xylem, one of Planet Water’s long-term partners, which has now supported and patronised Project 24 for three years, and in all five countries. Other returning partners include American Eagle Outfitters; Starbucks Indonesia, which just sent out its decennial AquaTower with Planet Water; and the Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola), who worked together with Planet Water to set up AquaTowers in four provinces in Cambodia this year.
New 2017 Project 24 patrons include Valmont Industries, Inc. and Expedia, Inc., proving their dedication to access to clean, drinkable water, as well as community development in the areas they have targeted.
“World Water Day is gaining momentum with more awareness through Project 24,” Mark Steele, Founder and CEO of Planet Water Foundation, said. “Our AquaTowers solve many problems for disadvantaged communities in parts of the world where supply is not the issue, but rather water contamination that is making people sick. One of our larger goals with Project 24 is to offer greater visibility into different types of water quality issues that we collectively work to mitigate.”
Planet Water also carries out water-health and hygiene education programmes in the communities and schools where AquaTowers are installed. These programmes are activity-based and child-friendly, effectively educating caregivers and children about pathogens, how they can spread, the proper method in which to one’s wash hands, bathing, as well as tooth brushing.
Since its initiation in 2009, Planet Water has sent out almost 1,000 AquaTowers, delivering clean, potable, water to an estimated one million people in 12 countries though their alliances with enterprises like Xylem, Timberland, JP Morgan, Levi & Strauss, and Habitat for Humanity, among many others.