METRO Water Initiative - Water for a Quarter Million22 March 2019
World Water Day 2019
On the occasion of World Water Day METRO and the One Drop Foundation are presenting their joint project, which is supposed to provide sustainable access to water and sanitary facilities for more than 250,000 people in the Indian region of Sheohar.
Water is a limited and increasingly scarce resource. Out of the world’s water reserves, only around three percent are available to humans as usable fresh water supply. If the hydrological cycle would not constantly renew these resources, that amount would be used up quickly. However, quality and availability of water is currently subject to drastic change because of population growth, changing consumption patterns and climate change.
At present, more than 30 countries on earth are in danger of acute water shortage. 80 percent of all illness in poorer countries go back to contaminated water supplies. To raise awareness of this situation, the United Nations launched an initiative in 1993 to annually commemorate the World Water Day on 22 March.
Sustainable water supply for all is the 6th of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The overarching goal of “Clean, accessible water and sanitary facilities for all” comprises sustainable management of waters, the equitable reconciliation of interests, the observance of access to safe water and sanitation as a human right and the conservation of self-supporting water resources for the future.
METRO and One Drop's Joint Project
METRO launched the Water Initiative in 2017 to draw the attention of around 24 million customers and more than 150,000 employees worldwide to the scarce resource water and its responsible use. Already in June 2018, the international wholesaler METRO announced its cooperation with the International Foundation One Drop. Now the project is concrete.
Over the course of the three-year partnership with One Drop, the aim is to provide the financial means to fund a joint water project in the Indian region Sheohar, whose population is facing a particularly dire water shortage.
The aim of the project is not just to make available a secure access to water, but also to create a lasting transformation of behavioral patterns when handling water and sanitary facilities. In India, too, the annual number of deaths caused by contaminated water goes well into the thousands. For this reason, One Drop created the “Social Art for Behavior Change”-approach. This method aims at teaching people about hygiene and sanitation in order to effect sustainable revision of behavior. This way, the outbreak of diseases from contaminated water can be reduced in the future.
METRO Water Initiative focuses on partnership
This project will be made possible by financing the project through the METRO Water Initiative in 22 METRO countries – and by the support of 22 suppliers. During the two-week campaign period around World Water Day, they donate a certain share of the selling price of pre-defined products to the METRO Water Initiative. More than 1.2 million Euros are to be raised, all of which will flow into the project in India. METRO guar-antees the donation target. One Drop doubles the amount and ensures close cooperation with governments and development banks. Thus, each donated Euro will have a leverage effect of up to 10 Euro.
This project is a common thread that allows a variety of companies and institutions to join forces to do good. Water is a human right, but it is so unequally distributed around the world that more than 2 billion people still live without safe access to clean water. By partnering for a common goal, we have the power to change the lives of more than a quarter of a million people for the better.Heiko Hutmacher, Chief Human Resources Officer of METRO AG