NESTLÉ HOUSE, Gurgaon August 24, 2015: Nestlé India celebrates the World Water Week (Aug 23 – Aug 28) with reinforced commitment to encourage water conservation and continues investing in water and sanitation programs for students in village/rural schools.
Nestlé India has identified lack of clean drinking water as a key concern for rural communities. The Company designed a model concept for clean drinking water facilities, with a module on ‘water awareness’ and these are being rolled out in joint ownership with schools and village communities. A unique feature of the concept is that students are encouraged to form ‘Water Committees’ for the maintenance and upkeep of the storage tanks. They also propagate judicious water consumption amongst their families and friends.
The company has been constructing sanitation facilities and toilets for girl students in village schools to reduce the dropout rate caused by lack of proper sanitation facilities. These facilities are being provided in communities around the Nestlé plants.
Speaking on Nestlé’s commitment to clean drinking water and sanitation, Mr. Sanjay Khajuria, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Nestlé India said, “Access to safe water and sanitation is a serious societal need, especially in rural areas, and programmes involving local communities can impact the lives of millions of people. Nestlé India started working on these projects almost 15 years ago and today as we celebrate World Water Week again, all of us at Nestlé India are proud that we have made a difference to more than 180,000 students in the rural schools. While our clean drinking water projects directly benefit 95,000 students, the water awareness programme on conservation and protection of water resources that emphasizes responsible utilization of water for a sustainable future has reached 52,000 students. The sanitation projects launched later have already benefitted 36,500 girl students.”
Water conservation is a major commitment for Nestlé and the Company continues to emphasise this within its areas of influence. While the programmes in village schools and rural communities are important to develop awareness and improve quality of life in
rural India, the Company is currently also working on training farmers to conserve water and its commitment to implementing WASH [‘Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Implementation at the Workplace’], to ensure access to safe water and sanitation, and appropriate facilities to employees for personal hygiene.
Various studies have established that in India agriculture is the largest consumer of water. Nestlé India has been Training Farmers to Conserve Water. The Company is working with them to create awareness and how they could conserve and protect water resources in agricultural and irrigation practices. Nestlé India is implementing a project to help reduce the agricultural water withdrawal from the Kabini catchment area in Karnataka over the next 3 years, while improving agricultural productivity. The project will provide training to farmers on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and the Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative with the help of AgSri.