Sopra Steria Benelux is committed to the right to water, convinced that it represents one of the key challenges facing humanity over the coming decades. Everyone has a role to play to preserve the environment. Sopra Steria Benelux is acting to improve the use of water resources within our own facilities and to promote education and sustainable water solutions in countries in need. Therefore, we have been collaborating with Join For Water for some years to support their work in Uganda. On World Water Day - March 22nd 2022 - Join For Water wants more than ever to raise awareness about the water challenges all over the world.
Join For Water is the only NGO in Belgium that solely focuses on water. They reinforce an equitable, sustainable and participatory water management and water use. Their basic principle is that everyone is entitled to water - humans and nature - today and tomorrow. Join For Water is involved in the implementation of SDG6 for drinking water and sanitation and keeps this topic on the political agenda. Thanks to Join For Water and its partners, tens of thousands of people each year have access to sustainable solutions for drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, or water for agriculture. Join For Waterworks in Belgium, Benin, Burundi, DR Congo, Ecuador, Haiti, Mali and Uganda.
Uganda is located on the equator, in East Africa, in the region of the Great Lakes. Uganda has a rapidly growing population with about 40 million Ugandans today, 8 times more than 60 years ago. Uganda ranks 162 on the list of the Human Development Index, and is therefore one of the poorest countries in spite of its resources. The people live mainly from agriculture and fishing.
With regard to sanitation and hygiene, Join For Water wants to focus on social marketing and the guidance of private partners, so that every family in Uganda can find a solution. The integrated approach of an entire zone has proved to be very valuable in Uganda and Join For Water will continue to work in the same way.
For example, a lot of work has already been done in the Mpanga basin. The main challenge there is to make the current activities sustainable and to monitor them. Stricter planning and more cooperation between all parties involved should ensure better management of water resources. Agriculture will receive more attention as an important economic activity, with local Integrated Water Management and better planning as a guiding principle. A complete approach has also been planned for the schools: there will be Ecosan latrines with a hand washbasin, a vegetable garden, and Join For Water will work on waste management.
Did you know that every Belgian uses approximately 7400 liters of water every day?
Belgium is a relatively flat country where it rains a lot. As a result, there is a lot of water available. But Belgium is small and densely populated: nearly 11.5 million inhabitants in January 2019. In addition, the standard of living is high, which means that consumption patterns put pressure on the local environment and abroad. In addition, a lot of water is used.
Due to climate change and this high population density, freshwater supplies are under pressure and there is water stress. Not enough consumers know that by drinking our daily coffees, eating avocados and wearing jeans, we also appeal to water supplies elsewhere in the world. In the countries from which we import these products, water is not an inexhaustible resource either, and its use must be carefully weighed up.
Our consumption patterns have an impact on global water challenges and determine the extent to which people in developing countries have access to water. That is why Join For Water is working to raise awareness in Flanders of the local and global importance of sustainable water use and a reduced water footprint. This footprint is the total volume of water we consume: both directly (the water from the tap) and indirectly (the water needed to produce products).
Read more about Join For Water and Sopra Steria’s corporate responsibility initiatives.