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IBM Supports Water Relief Efforts

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IBM Switzerland Helps Bring Safe Drinking Water to Families in Three Countries through the SODIS Foundation

In 2003, IBM monies collected through a fund-raising campaign at IBM Switzerland were donated to the Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) Foundation to be directed toward three SODIS projects in Trujillo, Peru, Santo Domingo, Ecuador, and the region of Oruro, Bolivia, to improve the local water quality and health of approximately 4,000 families. The SODIS Foundation is an international non-profit organization working in seven countries of Latin America in order to improve the quality of drinking water in this region.

These areas have limited access to clean water and diarrhea and other waterborne diseases are thus quite common. SODIS, which uses solar radiation to destroy pathogenic micro organisms and is ideal to treat small quantities of water, was introduced in the three regions in 2004. The SODIS process is simple: 1) wash a transparent plastic bottle, 2) fill it three quarters full of water, 3) put the top on the bottle and shake it for 20 seconds, 4) fill the bottle to the top and put the top on securely, 5) place the bottle on a corrugated iron sheet or put it on the roof, 6) expose the bottle to the sun from the morning to the evening for at least six hours, and 7) the water is now ready for consumption.

Through workshops and education, the people in these regions have learned how to use SODIS to disinfect their water. Through its support of the SODIS Foundation, IBM Switzerland has made a significant contribution to improving the quality of people's lives in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

For more information, visit the SODIS Web site or the SODIS Foundation Web site.

IBM South Africa Help Rural Communities in South Africa with Inadequate Access to Water through the Hippo Water Roller Project

In 2003, IBM South Africa contributed funds for the purchase of 100 Hippo Water Rollers, through the Hippo Water Roller Project. This was the third consecutive year that IBM South Africa contributed towards this project which eases the burden of residents living in rural communities in South Africa who lack nearby access to a water supply.

The innovative design of the Hippo Water Roller includes a barrel-shaped container that holds 90 liters of water in a drum with a large screw on cap and clip-on steel handle, compared to the traditional 20-liter buckets carried on the heads of women and children to transport water. The Hippo Water Roller can be pushed or pulled more quickly, carrying nearly five times the amount of water, with much less effort than the traditional method.

In celebration of International Day for Poverty Eradication, Nicolette de Bruyn, Acting Director of the Africa Foundation, said "We are delighted by the ongoing support that enables us to make a difference in the lives of these rural communities. We are honored that IBM South Africa has chosen again to support us in our water relief efforts."

For more information, visit the Hippo Water Roller Project Web site.


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