Beirut, 22 March 2016: A global tradition of annual activities commemorating World Water Day every March, launched by the United Nations in 1993, continued for the eighth consecutive year in Lebanon through TOGETHER 4 WATER events, which educate children from communities near Nestlé Waters bottling sites about the water cycle, water challenges facing the world and water preservation through fun, hands-on pedagogical activities developed by its global NGO partner Project WET.
In 2016, Nestlé Waters and Project WET are giving children the opportunity to become water heroes by putting what they learn about water into action. With the help of Nestlé Waters employee volunteers, children are designing and implementing their own water conservation projects, and telling the story of their year-long experience through video diaries in select countries.
Two main activities in Lebanon – held this year in collaboration with the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and the municipality of Tyre – reached nearly 2,000 children who took part in educational games in Ain Zhalta and Tyre.
In its first Nestlé in Society report for the region in 2015, Nestlé Middle East committed to “promote healthy hydration as part of a healthy lifestyle,” vowing to “further implement our healthy hydration awareness programs for teachers and kids providing a better understanding of the benefits of water as key to healthy hydration.”
“Water is a precious resource that is shared among individuals, farmers, industry, the environment, and others,” said Rania Choueifati, Lebanon Senior Brand Manager, Nestlé Waters. “Raising awareness about the importance of water amongst our employees and the local communities in which we operate on World Water Day is one of the ways we bring our commitment to water stewardship to life.”
Initiatives in Lebanon have so far reached nearly 10,000 students and teachers in schools across the country over the past eight years, through activities ranging from hosting public school students at Nestlé’s Sohat factory in Falougha, to educational sessions in Tyre conducted in association with the city’s municipality and UNIFIL, as well as factory events in Ain Zhalta in association with the Shouf Biosphere Reserve.
Six specific Project Wet activities are conducted in Lebanon: Blue Planet, The Life Box, Aqua Bodies, a Drop in the Bucket, One for All, and Sum of the Part, all of which aim to lead children through a process that allows them to understand the importance of water in people’s lives, teach them that human actions affect water, and educate them on how to protect and preserve it.
“Nestlé Waters is committed to being a good steward of the water resources we share,” concluded Choueifati. “We ensure our operations are efficient and proactively collaborate with others on initiatives that preserve water resources over the long term. We also improved our water efficiency globally by 19% over the last five years.”
In the Middle East, Nestlé has since 2009 reduced absolute water withdrawal by 6% across its factories in the region, while production volume increased by 62%.