Water is life. The lack of clean water infrastructure and the prevalence of waterborne diseases plagues millions worldwide; one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
To do our part, in 2022, the Otto International CR team proudly organised our global “Water is Life” campaign, which included various activities and projects within our offices and the greater communities we are a part of. Highlights include our sponsoring projects in Cambodia and Vietnam and hosting a playthrough of the “SDGs Game” in our Hong Kong office.
Cambodia: bio-sand water filters and toilets in Preah Theat Primary School and Pong Ro village
We supported Hong Kong-based NGO A Drop of Life‘s WASH project in Preah Theat Primary School, located in Trapeang Pring Village. This project aims to tackle three interconnected core water issues: “Water,” “Sanitation,” and “Hygiene.”
Prior to this initiative, there was no governmental water infrastructure in the area around Preah Theat. Therefore, students and teachers had to rely on rainwater, nearby rivers, and ponds to obtain drinking and cleaning water, which often contained Coliform and other pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, the lack of proper toilets meant the existent water sources were at constant risk of contamination which inevitably had negative health implications for the children and adults.
The WASH project addresses these problems by installing a bio-sand water filter, capable of filtering out 99.9% of bacteria in the school’s water supply. Additionally, to improve the school’s sanitation conditions, we supported the installation of a three-stall latrine equipped with a sanitary box and disinfection facilities. With respect to hygiene, information sessions were held to educate students about personal hygiene and to help them develop good hygiene habits.
Currently, the school provides clean drinking water to 377 children and teaching staff. In addition, we contributed to the construction of six bio-sand filters and two toilets for six families in Pong Ro, a village near Siem Reap.
Vietnam: water purification system in Madagui central highlands
Similar to the WASH project, we funded a modern water purifying system for a village in the Vietnamese Madagui central highlands. The water purifier provides free drinking water to villagers, who no longer worry about contamination issues and water-borne diseases. On the day of the purifier’s handover, our Vietnam colleagues visited the village, where they donated 200 packs of essential food such as rice, sugar, cooking oil, milk, and cakes for children.
By constructing these essential water facilities, we hope to give back to the communities where help is most needed, and secure for them one of humanity’s most important necessities. Providing an area with access to clean water and good hygiene conditions improves the health of those who live there, empowering them to achieve more, potentially leading to a better future.
Otto International SDGs Game
While one of our key Corporate Responsibility aims is to engage the communities we operate in, we also strive to create a positive eco-impact in our workplaces.
To bring attention to the SDGs within our workplace, our Hong Kong Corporate Responsibility Team and A Drop of Life organised a session of the “SDGs Game” in our office. The card-based game takes place in a hypothetical world between the current day and 2030, by which point the SDGs are meant to be achieved. It gives each player a goal to accomplish by the end of the game, and they can be as diverse as enjoying leisure, environmental conservation, or acquiring wealth. The game is a tool to prompt discussion on all the SDGs and how they may be interconnected to inspire people to make more conscious decisions.
However, our work does not stop here. Our CR team will continue collaborating with our community partners on water projects, and hosting engaging informational sessions, to create a positive impact throughout the societies we are a part of.