The COVID-19 has caused a tremendous scare as it rapidly spreads from continent to continent, thus being declared a global pandemic. The pandemic also commonly known as the Coronavirus which first started in China in late 2019 has rapidly and viciously spread across the globe, with some countries seeing a higher infection rate than other countries. The general feel being uncertainty, fear and the need to adapt to new regulations put into place to try and combat and mitigate the virus.
As a company who holds social responsibility at our core, we will support activities that can help mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak now and in future, in any possible way we can. The Grundfos Foundation (Poul Due Jensen Foundation) has donated a generous amount of $30 000 to one of our local partners – Non – Profit Organization Save our Schools (SOS) to help fight the wide-spreading Coronavirus. The foundation has launched a 200 mil DKK grant which they are donating to Grundfos entities partners and organizations. The intent herein is to support local branches to help their local communities in this time of distress and dire need.
The partnership with SOS will aid in the implementation of handwashing stations in the fastest growing informal settlement of Bloekombos in Cape Town which houses 50 000 people. The emergency hand washing station project, which was launched at the end of April, will see the installation of 14x 5000-litre water tanks in Bloekombos and neighbouring areas such as Wallcedene which houses approximately 55 000 residents.
Grundfos Sub-Saharan Area Managing Director – Giancarlo Roggiolani says: “Improving the lives of people is the clear purpose embedded in Grundfos, in the way we do business and how we stay close to the local communities. COVID-19 is an urgent problem which we are facing and thus have to contribute positively to the health and safety of people. Handwashing stations will, therefore, help improve hygiene and sanitation, thus helping to prevent the spread of the virus”.
SOS has worked alongside Grundfos on a project in Bloekombos wherein Grundfos and SOS provided non-portable water to 6 Schools, 1 clinic as well as several micro-businesses in Bloekombos in response to the water crises in Cape Town in 2018. The partnership is therefore not a new one and the emergency handwashing stations is ultimately an extension of this existing project. Grundfos Africa is very proud to participate in such a project and monitor such a quick progression on this project, which helps strengthen underprivileged communities. Since the grant has been received in April the project has successfully been launched and has incorporated the handing out of facemasks to the residents of Bloekombos. A total of 7 tanks have been installed, whilst a total of 4 handwashing stations are fully operational. The project completion date is estimated to be at the end of July whilst the completion of installations of handwashing stations will be done in June.
As our EEWAA Regional Managing Director – Okay Barutcu has said: “let’s make sure we ride this crisis in the best way and come out stronger”. The COVID-19 pandemic needs collaborative efforts between civil society, government, individuals and corporates in order to help mitigate this virus. It is of utter importance that we all contribute positively to our communities amidst this pandemic as we manoeuvre these uncharted waters up until such a time when a cure is found.