Valves given new life by “Water is our World” Foundation
At the beginning of April, Casper van Ommen and Servan Schuurman from the “Water is our World” Foundation visited Imbema. The purpose of the visit: the hand-over of water pipe materials – no less than 204 valves – to be given a second life in developing countries.
Global water management
The Water is our World Foundation is a non-subsidised Dutch organisation which aims to realise, repair or improve the drinking water and sanitation facilities in villages and small towns in developing countries. They provide direct aid not only by supplying and installing materials but also by conveying knowledge relating to clean drinking water, sanitation, technical management, healthcare and hygiene education. In the process, used materials and installations are reused and given a second life wherever possible.
Casper van Ommen (founder and president of the Water is our World Foundation), Servan Schuurman (volunteer for the Foundation and an employee at Vitens) and Bert van der Giessen (initiator and senior sales engineer at Imbema) were present at the official handover of the water pipe material.
Vlnr: Mike de Bie (Imbema), Iwan Siemensma (Imbema), Servan Schuurman (Water is our World), Casper van Ommen (Water is our World)Bert van der Giessen (Imbema), Ger van Wunnik (Imbema)
Bert: “We see the goal of this foundation as a strong example of cross-border thinking: finding a new, valuable purpose for materials. It appeals to us tremendously. It also fits in perfectly with Imbema’s CSR policy.”
“I have known Henk Hogenkamp – a volunteer for the Foundation and an employee at Vitens – for more than 20 years. We often work together. It was he who put me in contact with Water is our World. One day, I heard that products were going to be written off at Imbema, after an inventory had been drawn up of the stock in the warehouse. That gave me the idea to donate those products to this Foundation so that they could continue to be used to supply water in developing countries.”
The Foundation is supported by Vitens and uses the company’s logistics centre in Lelystad where the materials were delivered on 11 April 2019.
Casper, founder of the Foundation (and now a retired employee of Vitens) explains:
“The products donated can be used straight away. We are given materials and then look at what we can do with them. Our projects come about in different ways. For instance, one project in Vietnam was proposed by a former boat refugee, an engineer. We have projects in Surinam, Serbia, Vietnam, Moldova and Senegal.”
What impact do these valves have?
Some of the substantial stock of valves that the Foundation now has at its disposal will be perfect for a project in Vietnam. Use of the other products will be the subject of further discussion within the Foundation. Projects of this type enable local residents to be connected to the drinking water network. With that in mind, we know that the materials go to a good home!