The UAE has one of the highest rates of bottled water consumption in the world. Coupled with a lack of recycling facilities, this means that millions of plastic water bottles are dumped into landfills every day. And it can take over 700 years for a single use plastic water bottle to degrade. Which is why, just over a year ago, Dubai-based interior construction company KPS decided to stop landfilling and start refilling: Project Water was born.
Five hundred KPS staff across the Middle East and Europe received refillable water flasks and all workplaces were equipped with water coolers. Not only did the company save excess plastic waste, but it also saved money on plastic bottle purchases. Those savings have now been used to install an AquaTower in Baguio, Philippines, to mark UN World Water Day on 22 March 2022.
The AquaTower’s technology removes bacteria, protozoa, viruses, pathogens, and other contaminants. It will provide children from the Jose P. Rizal Elementary School, and surrounding community members, with crystal-clean drinking water for generations to come. Stephen Taylor, KPS’ Managing Director in the UAE, said: “It is estimated that over two billion people live without access to safe water. At KPS we exist to turn challenges into opportunities. We’re happy that we found a way to actively reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce here in the UAE, while simultaneously contributing to water health and hygiene in the Philippines.”
Mark Steele, Founder and CEO of Planet Water Foundation who developed the AquaTower, said: “I am beyond thankful for the support we receive from our corporate partners, like KPS. By bringing clean drinking water to communities in need, we are drastically improving the health and quality of life for thousands of individuals who can now turn their attention to other aspects of life instead of having this challenge continue to be an ongoing concern.”
In addition to clean drinking water, the KPS project will also provide sanitation infrastructure, with handwashing stations integrated into the base of the AquaTower. KPS staff are also supporting an activity-based education programme at the school, to empower children and their teachers with more knowledge about water health and hygiene. The AquaTower comes with a multiyear support package to make sure that clean water keeps flowing, long after World Water Day is forgotten.
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