Symantec Volunteers Build Water Tower in Honor of World Water Day

Delivering Safe Water Where It's Needed Most
Mar 22, 2018 10:10 AM ET

Symantec blog | Corporate Responsibility

While most of us simply walk to the nearest faucet to quench our thirst, for too many around the world, this is not the case. Take for example the Patil family in the tribal village of Belvali, India, where water is a crucial resource. Before beginning their work day, the family treks to the local well to gather the water needed for the day. With the government well running dry by 10:00 am, this requires five trips and approximately an hour to ensure they don’t miss this cutoff requiring travel even further to the community well. Additionally, there are no resources to filter the water that is at high risk of pollution.

This story is unfortunately common for the families of Belvali, but also for so many families, communities and regions. By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water[1]. 700 million could be displaced by 2030 in search for water[2].

Today, World Water Day, Symantec volunteers joined the community of Belvali and Planet Water Foundation’s Project 24 to provide easily accessible, consistent and clean water to the community, a game-changing resource for the people of Belvali. The Belvali water tower is part of the Project 24 global campaign where leading brands and citizens unite on World Water Day to raise awareness of the global water crisis - and mobilize to deliver community-based clean water systems with hygiene education in 24 communities in 24 hours. 24,000 people across five geographies including: India, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Puerto Rico will receive access to clean water with support from an alliance of companies, including participation from employee volunteers, from leading global companies including Coca-Cola, VF Corporation and Starbucks.

The AquaTowers are located on primary school grounds, where Planet Water’s Water-Health and Hygiene Education programs are implemented by program educators in the community’s language. Symantec volunteers from the Mumbai office supported the creation of an AquaTower at Belvali’s Higher Secondary Ashram School, in Bhatane that will benefit 450 students and the broader community of 3,000 people.

Planet Water also provides training for local communities to maintain the systems and includes five years of post-project sustainability support, water quality monitoring, and ongoing hygiene education programming for every beneficiary community. Joining and contributing to Planet Water’s Project 24 is part of our Going Green in 2018 campaign of eco-friendly awareness, challenges and initiatives, designed to encourage Symantec employees to take action, and help protect our world.

Beyond thirst…

Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of the global population[3] and approximately 1,000 children die every day from water related illnesses[4]. While water may seem like just another part of our day, for too many this is a life-changing resource.    

Additionally, in many parts of the world families, primarily females, spend hours collecting clean water every day. Clean water is life-saving, but it is also a mechanism for personal, economic and community empowerment.  

As much as we are focused on building a more sustainable business, we are also committed to helping shift the world onto a sustainable path. We continue to follow the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact and align our corporate responsibility initiatives to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Access to clean water touches on many of the SDGs by providing access to clean water itself, but also opening doors to education, addressing key issues of gender equity and promoting economic empowerment.

At Symantec, we believe that together, we have the power to change the world and make it a better, safer place. We couldn’t be happier to take part in Plant Water Foundation’s Project 24 where Symantec volunteers brought clean water to the Belvali community, connecting our employees to their community and to each other, and opening up opportunities for Belvali’s families to spend their time working, learning, and creating a healthy and safe future.