The responsibility to treat water as a precious natural resource is on all of us. Discovery is acting to create more natural water sources, to donate water and to prevent illness in water-scarce areas. Here’s how you can be part of these efforts.
The water crisis in the Western Cape could potentially make Cape Town the first major city worldwide to run out of water. But it's not just their problem. Sub-Saharan Africa is more vulnerable to water stress than other regions due to a host of complex, interrelated factors.
Without the necessary rain, increasing water scarcity will leave many of us facing social, logistical, health and hygiene challenges. But by being water conscious, taking initiative, planning ahead and helping others, we can work together to address these challenges.
Discovery is making a difference, and you can too
As an organisation, Discovery's purpose centres on making people healthier. This extends to the communities where we work. We’re continually create awareness of water-saving initiatives and have implemented ways to reduce water use in our work environment.
We have also partnered to assist in relief efforts and have enabled some of our client and member benefits, like Vitality Active Rewards, to give you this opportunity too. Here are two main ways we're getting involved, and how you can join us:
1. The Discovery Fund supports borehole drilling
The Discovery Fund has been working with Gift of the Givers, the largest disaster response NGO of African origin, on different drought relief interventions. This includes creating natural boreholes in identified areas - a programme which started last year in close collaboration with relevant government departments and communities.
To date, Gift of the Givers has supported borehole drilling in the Witperd area of Beaufort West, providing 250 000 litres of water a day into the Gamka Dam pipeline. Additional boreholes have been drilled in the Walker Dam area, which will provide another 100 000 litres of water a day to the town. Drilling has also started in De Doorns and will move to Tous Rivier, Tulbagh, Bonnievale and Ceres.
We're focusing on vulnerable communities
"The Discovery Fund is specifically supporting the drilling of boreholes in Khayelitsha and suburbs in the Cape Flats. Schools, hospitals, clinics and faith-based organisations have been identified to receive borehole tanks, and existing systems will be restored to reuse grey water and ensure improved water use," says Ruth Lewin, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Discovery.
2. Supply water and sanitation through Vitality Active Rewards MoveToGive
The water shortage poses a risk of the spread of diseases. Regular hand washing with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent foodborne illnesses, cross-contamination, diarrhoea and respiratory diseases. With the water shortage, however, proper hand hygiene may be neglected.
With this in mind, Discovery is working with some of Vitality's partners to supply bottled water and alcohol-based hand sanitisers to vulnerable communities in Cape Town.
Once you achieve your weekly fitness goal, choose the reward option that lets you donate water and a hand sanitiser towards relief efforts in the Western Cape. Find out more about how you can contribute here.
So be mindful of our country's looming water shortage and the wellbeing of others this March: don't be wasteful in your personal water use, and join in our relief efforts to aid vulnerable communities across the Western Cape. By working together, we can reach more people and help make a valuable difference their health and lives.
MoveToGive to help others while you gift yourself with good health!
Vitality Active Rewards encourages you to work out more frequently, wherever you are, by giving you weekly rewards for meeting personalised physical activity goals. Now you can get active to get reward others as well as yourself. Achieve your weekly Vitality Active Rewards goal or reach a goal streak and you can opt to donate toward the water relief efforts in the Western Cape with Vitality MoveToGive.
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