Water as a Community Issue
For many years, we have demonstrated our commitment to water issues primarily through our own operations, focusing on water efficiency, effluent quality and water reuse. But we also are committed to moving beyond our own fences to address water issues within our communities of operation. We are working with stakeholders to better understand issues around water accessibility and sanitation, in water-stressed communities especially. We’re investing in community water stewardship projects in India, with plans to make similar investments in Mexico, China, South Africa and elsewhere.
We are committed to mobilizing opportunities for communities in the developing world through clean water. We have joined the Global Water Coalition (GWC), a group of leading organizations committed to achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Through the GWC, Ford and others are funding water and sanitation programs in Africa and Central America. The GWC is also launching a “Women for Water” campaign to address critical water needs. In the developing world, the burden of collecting water falls primarily upon women and girls, who often must spend several hours a day carrying water.
Another area where we are focusing is education. Ford India, for example, helped to refurbish two schools in villages near our plant in Maraimalai Nagar, a suburb of the southern city of Chennai. The refurbishment included new sanitation facilities and drinking water fountains.
Students and staff of Konkord Academy, a school for children with mental and physical disabilities in Ghana, where a Ford dealership paid for a new water tank
Our Ford Motor Company Volunteer Corps, meanwhile, is placing a priority on water-based community projects during our Global Week of Caring and Accelerated Action Days. In 2011, for example, the staff at the Ghana Mechanical Lloyd Company, Ltd. dealership paid for a new water tank for the students and staff of Konkord Academy, a school for children with mental and physical disabilities. And in Honduras, the Yude Canahuati dealership replaced the aging wastewater pipes at the Pilar Salinas School for the Blind to improve drainage, reduce environmental pollution and eliminate a health hazard. (See the Communities section for more on Ford’s volunteer programs.)