With a population estimated at 25,000 and growing, there is a rising demand for clean and accessible drinking water in the village of Husseinieh in Jordan where Nestle Waters operates its Ghadeer factory. The Ministry of Water has drilled wells in the village in the past but current demand continues to grow.
Nestle, in cooperation with the Ministry of Water, has drilled and donated a new well in the village to serve the citizens of Husseinieh. This well was set up according to the highest standards and should help meet the increasing demand on clean and safe drinking water in the village.
Providing safe drinking water access for people in Husseinieh
The new well, which is situated about 2km from our bottled mineral water facility in Ghadeer, was officially opened in a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Ministry of Water in Jordan in May 2017.
The inauguration event was attended by Dr Hazem Al Nasser, the Minister of Water and Irrigation; Hans-Peter Lenz, Swiss Ambassador to Jordan; Yves Manghardt, Chairman and CEO for Nestlé Middle East; Rasem Dabbas, Business Executive Officer for Nestlé Waters Jordan; parliamentary members and village stakeholders.
"We are pleased to be able to contribute to the people of Husseinieh and to help increase the supply of safe clean, high quality drinking water," said Mr Dabbas at the opening event.
Now, the new well in Husseinieh, which is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, will provide additional clean safe drinking water to the residents of Husseinieh and demonstrates Nestle's commitment to serve communities where it operates.
"This is a true partnership between Nestlé and the local community, and a strong collaboration with the Ministry of Water," said Abdalla Thnoibat, village stakeholder. "Nestlé has helped to boost the economy and the infrastructure of our village."
Meeting the demand of local communities
As part of our collaboration with the Ministry of Water, we led a geophysical mapping around the Ghadeer factory to locate the best area to drill a replacement well to support an existing well at our facility.
We have discussed with the Ministry the feasibility for Nestlé to build and donate a new drinking well to support the village of Husseinieh and the Ministry welcomed this initiative.
We will continue to extend our expertise and support to the Ministry of Water to carry out geophysical studies in the north of Jordan to identify new areas to drill new wells to keep up with the increasing demand of the local communities.
Creating employment for local communities
Our site at Ghadeer was first established in 1982 as one of the first bottling water plants in Jordan. It has since created about 400 jobs, of which 100 employees are from Husseinieh and nearby villages.
"There is no doubt that Nestlé's investment in Husseinieh is a great achievement and has provided employment opportunities for many local residents," said Dr Ibrahim Al Jazi, former Minister of Justice and village stakeholder. "The company has worked on supplying the local community with skills and training to improve their expertise."
The site has now achieved the Jordan's Quality Mark one of the country's highest quality award, from the Jordan Standards and Metrology Organisation.
Educating schoolchildren on water hydration and resources
We are also engaging in programmes and initiatives to help raise awareness in water and conservation in the region.
Since 2013, we have supported the Royal Health Association Society, a non-profit organisation created by Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, to implement the Water Education for Teachers (Project WET) programme, which aims to educate teachers and schoolchildren on water hydration and water resources.
Over 500 teachers in 400 schools have already benefited from the project, which has reached more than 30,000 schoolchildren across the country.
"We believe that concerted collective efforts with authorities, partners and collaborators can make a greater impact and ensure the success and sustainability of our Creating Shared Value actions," said Yves Manghardt, Chairman and CEO for Nestlé Middle East. "Such programmes aim to instil knowledge on good hydration and to impact behaviour for better health."
Limited water access in Jordan
However, there is still much progress to be made.
Jordan is one of the most water scarce countries in the world, facing chronic challenges to ensure the provision of water and sanitation services for decades, especially in rural areas, according to UNICEF.
Although 97% of the population have access to an improved water source and the rates of access to a water network are very high, water is not continuously available – ranging from only once a week to once a month.
Through our initiatives like building the new water well in Husseinieh and supporting Project WET in Jordan, we aim to make an important contribution to the country by providing people with the most basic of needs: continued access to clean and safe drinking water.