A multifaceted operation
Cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis… These are all disasters that are terrifying at the time, with visible longterm consequences. Vulnerable infrastructure includes drinking water production and distribution facilities, which are often damaged or even totally destroyed.
Drinking water is a vital priority to avoid epidemics in the days following a disaster. This is why twenty years ago Veolia set up an emergency task force charged with supplying drinking water to affected populations until the infrastructure is back in service. It is called on to provide support by international humanitarian players such as the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, Solidarités International, Première Urgence, Action contre la faim, Oxfam, UNICEF, etc., for whom the Foundation has become a key partner over time. As soon as the decision is made to act, the operation is quickly set in motion. The Foundation’s experts decide on the skills required to meet the needs and then contact the volunteers – Group staff members – who match the profile.
“These volunteers are part of a network of 500 Veolia employees who have expressed the desire to use their skills in the service of humanitarian causes,” states Damien Machuel, Project Manager at the Veolia foundation. “They are trained in crisis situations and are ready to leave within 24 hours, in difficult contexts if the situation demands it.”
These volunteers leave for missions of up to three weeks maximum and alternate with each other on the ground until the water supply is restored.
“I admire these volunteers who go straight back to their job in the company after three weeks on the ground giving 200% of their energy,” enthuses Damien Machuel. “Using their skills to help impacted populations also recharges their batteries!”