Water bought on campus funds drinking water well in West Bengal

Wednesday, 01 February 2017

Life-Water-Well-West-Bengal

Oxford Brookes University and its catering contractor Chartwells have helped a community in West Bengal access clean drinking water through a charitable scheme.

Enough bottles of Life Water have been sold across the University’s various catering outlets to fund the building of a well in Haribashar, West Bengal – a state in the North East of India. The well will benefit a community of over 2000 people who previously had to walk over an hour a day to collect water from neighbouring villages.

Steve Travis, Contract Director for Chartwells at Oxford Brookes University said “This is a fantastic initiative which has been supported by the students and staff at the university. It directly impacts on the quality of people’s lives and truly makes a difference. The continued valued support shall help us achieve a second well soon.” 

This is a fantastic initiative which has been supported by the students and staff at the university. It directly impacts on the quality of people’s lives and truly makes a difference. The continued valued support shall help us achieve a second well soon.

Steve Travis, Contract Director for Chartwells at Oxford Brookes University

Despite the state also being home to Kolkata (Calcutta) – the third largest city in the country and known as the cultural capital of India - people across West Bengal suffer from high levels of water-scarcity. Last year, 47 regions staged a protest against the inadequate supplies of water in response to the droughts in 2016. 

Having a clean provision of water now means that the community no longer have to face the threat of water-borne illnesses and can focus upon livelihoods, education and family life. 

As part of its commitment to using sustainable and Fairtrade food, Food at Brookes pledged to sell at least one charitable water across the University’s campuses. For every bottle of Life Water sold, the ethical bottled water company, via their partner charity Drop4Drop, funds the delivery of 1000 litres of clean drinking water to communities in need around the world.

Phillipa Fletcher, Commercial Director at Oxford Brookes University said: “We aim to provide the most sustainable and ethical food offering possible, reducing any negative environmental impact of food and drink.

 “Oxford Brookes University was the first Fairtrade University and we are committed to ensuring that Fairtrade products are available in all the catering and retail outlets on campus.

“The Life Water initiative is just one of ways we integrate social responsibility into our day to day operations.”

More information about Brookes’ sustainable operations can be found on the Sustainability webpages.