As the desperate battle to re-build homes and lives in the tsunami-stricken regions gets underway, badly needed clean water is being delivered to the victims of the tsunami - thanks to Just a Drop, the international travel and tourism industry charity.
ÊA total of 100,000 bottles of spring water have been sent from UAE to South East Asia in conjunction with the Emirates Bank, Western Union Financial Services Inc., Scan - Trans Shipping and the mineral water company Santé.
“This was a brilliant example of joint co-operation that got quick results”, said Just a Drop chairman and founder, Fiona Jeffery. “We are so grateful for the way that three major companies have worked together with ourselves and the UAE Red Crescent branch in Dubai to help ease the immediate problems of the victims.
“Clean water is essential for life.
“Without it children are especially vulnerable to water born diseases such as diaorrhoea, dysentery and cholera. This has been confirmed by health officials working in the region - it is their worst post-disaster nightmare.
“It is essential that a good supply of clean drinking water is readily available for the victims in this difficult time when the immediate spotlight has gone away and the process of rebuilding and restoration is still in the early stages.
“We cannot thank all those involved in this initiative enough for their quick thinking and humanitarian actions.”
She said that two cargoes ofÊ bottled water had now been delivered to logistics bases in Indonesia and Sri Lanka and distributed to those most in need.
Santé has supported Just a Drop for the past year since the launch of its new mineral water brand in the UAE, pledging 2.5% of every bottle sold to the charity. The company has been active in recruiting corporate sponsors as well as participating in events to generate awareness for the cause. Rajesh Arab, Commercial Director, FBWC Marketing, one of the ‘brand ambassadors’ of Just a Drop in the UAE said: ” We are so grateful to all those who helped us take clean water to worst affected areas, particularly children whose immune systems simply cannot cope with dirty or polluted drinking water.”
Louis Scotto, Head of Retail Banking, Emirates Bank said: “We hope that sending bottled water to some of the areas worst hit will help prevent the spread of disease and keep future loss of life to the minimum.”
“Our immediate re-action was to get together with a few friendly ship owners and offer free space on our ships to transport supplies,” said Rohan Shetty, Managing Director, Scan -Trans Shipping Middle East. “Our colleagues join me in extending our unequivocal support for the victims.”
Marc Aubry, Sr. Regional Marketing Manager for Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan at Western Union said ” It was natural for us to react in the early stages of this disaster by providing immediate basic necessities to those in need.Ê In addition, The First Data Western Union Foundation made a donation of US$1 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support victims in the Asian countries most impacted by the recent tsunami disaster.Ê “
The work of Just a Drop and its supporting companies has been praised by the Red Crescent branch in Dubai. Manager Mohammed Abdullah Alhaj Al Zaroni said:” The work of Just a Drop will help tremendously in these critical first months after the disaster.”
Santé, under the Just a Drop banner, has now joined forces with a large number of hotel groups in Dubai to support Crossing Borders - a Cycling Challenge to raise aid for an orphanage in Battambang, Cambodia (run by Aspeca) and The Human Development Foundation in Bangkok. The fun, fund raising event will take participants through Sharjah to Fujairah with a two-night stay for two at the AL Maha Desert Resort and Spa for the cyclist raising the most amount of money.
Just a Drop, founded seven years ago by World Travel Market, the leading business exhibition for the international travel and tourism industry, has set up a separate account to receive donations and other fund raising monies in aid of the tsunami victims.
“The immediate aid is a wonderful start to our relief work in South East Asia”, said Ms. Jeffery.” We are now identifying specific projects in the region where we can help to provide water-related facilities such as latrines and sanitation.”
Log on to www.justadrop.org
for further details on the Just a Drop Disaster Fund and how to make a donation.