Xylem Water Solutions South Africa celebrated World Water Day and South African Water Week in conjunction with Afrika Tikkun and Afrika Tikkun Services at the Wings of Life Community Centre in Diepsloot on the 19th of March. The team at Xylem hosted and educational theatre show for the pre-schoolers at the centre – teaching them about water conservation in a fun and educational manner; while lending their expertise to maintain existing water reservoirs at the site.
World Water Day is an annual initiative rolled out in 1993 by the United Nations whereby global awareness of water as a scarce resource is raised and addressed. Participants from all over the world find innovative ways to address fresh water challenges in the most needy of areas. The secretary general of the United Nations (UN); Ban Ki-Moon summarises the leitmotif behind the initiative: “To address the many challenges related to water, we must work in a spirit of urgent cooperation, open to new ideas and innovation, and prepared to share the solutions that we all need for a sustainable future.”
Each year sees the UN announcing an official theme for World Water Day. This year’s is Water and Sustainable Development. Using this theme as a guideline; Xylem Water Solutions South Africa wanted to identify areas where the company could contribute in a concrete and meaningful way to both the awareness of water as a scarce resource and to development of water solutions in areas where access to fresh water presents a particular challenge.
The company found and ideal partner for this year’s World Water Day initiative in Afrika Tikkun (AT) and its sustainability arm; Afrika Tikkun Services (ATS). The team at Afrika Tikkun employs a cradle-to-career model which invests in the development of disadvantaged children from early infancy through young adulthood and into the world of work. This model is then taken further by Afrika Tikkun Services – a for-profit company that aligns with corporate partners as their supplier of choice for placement of skilled youth from under resourced communities.
This year’s World Water Day activity served not only as the official kick-off of this relationship; but also as an opportunity for Xylem to become part of the cradle-to-career model. “We decided to put together a tailor-made educational theatre show for the pre-school children from the community to help lay the foundation of water conservation from a very early age. These children are the ones who will be faced with fresh water challenges in the years to come – it is never too early to engender a culture of conservation;” explain Heinrich Louw; marketing manager – Middle East and Africa.
Xylem’s World Water Day task team joined the community from the surrounding Diepsloot-area to clean and service existing water tanks at the centre; after which attendees enjoyed a hearty traditional meal prepared by the centre’s staff. This event was also the perfect opportunity to announce Xylem’s extended partnership with Afrika Tikkun and Afrika Tikkun Services via an enterprise development grant of R275 000 in Afrika Tikkun Services and a socio-economic development grant of R110 000 with Afrika Tikkun.
Xylem Water Solutions South Africa is proud to be involved with global programmes such as World Water Day and continues to strive for innovative solutions that are applicable throughout the water cycle.
Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology provider, enabling customers to transport, treat, test and efficiently use water in public utility, residential and commercial building services, industrial and agricultural settings. The company does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands, and its people bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on finding local solutions to the world’s most challenging water and wastewater problems. Xylem is headquartered in Rye Brook, N.Y., with 2013 revenues of $3.8 billion and more than 12,500 employees worldwide. Xylem was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last three years for advancing sustainable business practices and solutions worldwide.
The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of our water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all — that which occurs in nature. For more information, please visit us at www.xyleminc.com.