Monday, November 24, 2008

Sanitation and Corporate Social Responsibility
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HNB launches safe drinking water and sanitation programme in Mannar
With latest research highlighting bowel diseases as one of the most critical health issues in the ountry, HNB embarked on an ambitious safe drinking water and sanitation programme that saw its very first project being completed in Mannar. The village of Siruthopu in Mannar recently received access to a proper source of safe-drinking water when HNB stepped in, distinguishing themselves yet again as a bank whose interests go beyond business. A well was built and a tank set up along with six taps in a central area of the village, providing the much-needed solution to dire water and sanitation problems faced by the people in the village.
The people of Siruthopu had next to nothing to come back to, but received a somewhat solace when a NGO pitched in to build houses for them. Safe drinking water and sanitation however remained a burning problem as their only source of water came from a bowser that found its way to the town daily to fill a single plastic tank out of which over 75 families received water. That water too was not safe for drinking and was the cause of many cases of bowel and other diseases, and sickness became an everyday experience for the people of this area.
The plight of the people living in Siruthopu was brought to the Bank’s notice by HNB’s Mannar Branch Manager and steps were immediately taken to determine what the Bank could do for the people. The 15th of November saw the grateful locality of over 75 families receiving a steady mode of clean water that would be sufficient for all. “Water and sanitation is as important as a roof over your head, maybe more so. The project in Mannar is the first of a series of similar projects that will be instigated in various needy areas of the country,” said Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah, Managing Director Hatton National Bank.
Similar projects to provide safe drinking water and sanitation will be taken up in Anuradhapura, Puttalam Chunnakam and Kataragama in the immediate future. This project was initiated with the guidance of Mr. J. R. P. M. Paiva- Deputy General Manager – HR & Administration who is heading the CSR initiatives of the bank. Providing safe drinking water and sanitation is a key millennium goal identified by the United Nations Organization.

Extract from Ashok Leyland Ltd CSR Report 2005 – 06

• During the heavy downpours in end-2005, the ponds filled up and overflowed. After the rains, the living organisms in the ponds, including the fish, were found to be dying in large numbers.
Extensive analysis of the reasons was carried out in coordination with a few Governmental agencies. The root cause was found to be an increase in the ‘Biological Oxygen’ demand due to sudden changes in atmospheric conditions accompanying the downpours - a serious threat to the living organisms in the water.
• As a solution, a chemical called Nualgi was used to increase the Oxygen content in the water and the problem was solved.

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