ITT calls for greater investment, innovation to address global sanitation crisis
At the International Water Association's World Water Congress, ITT Corporation's chief executive officer, Steve Loranger, called for greater investment in sanitation and continued focus on innovative solutions to address the health crisis affecting some of the world's poorest regions. Loranger's comments were made during the second event in a discussion series announcing ITT's new corporate philanthropy initiative, ITT Watermark...
VIENNA, Austria, Sept. 10, 2008 -- At the International Water Association's World Water Congress, ITT Corporation's chief executive officer, Steve Loranger, called for greater investment in sanitation and continued focus on innovative solutions to address the health crisis affecting some of the world's poorest regions. Loranger's comments were made during the second event in a discussion series announcing ITT's new corporate philanthropy initiative, ITT Watermark.
"The impact of poor sanitation on the health of people in some of the world's developing countries is well-documented and inescapable, but still dramatically overlooked by governments and industry alike," said Steve Loranger during the panel discussion. "While governments must recognize the incredible health and economic benefits of investments in sanitation, industry must continue to invest in the research and development of viable solutions for the world's most vulnerable populations."
According to the World Health Organization, 2.2 million children under the age of five die each year from diarrheal disease. It is estimated that providing children with access to toilets reduces their chances of contracting these deadly diseases by half.
"As a global water technology company, we recognize our responsibility and are working hard to develop water and wastewater treatment solutions that meet the specifications and price-points of the developing world, while investing in innovative and locally sustainable philanthropic activities to provide safe water and sanitation where they are needed most," Loranger added.
In addition to Loranger, the panel featured Ned Breslin, director of international programs at Water For People, and Dr. Darren Saywell, development director at the International Water Association. The panel was moderated by J. Carl Ganter, director of Circle of Blue, a media project of the Pacific Institute, a non-profit water policy think tank.
>> Read a summary of the discussion
>> See video of the discussion
Solutions for the Developing World
ITT, a global leader in the transport and treatment of water, is active in more than 140 countries around the world, including developing regions in Asia and Latin America. The company has established research and development centers in India and China to localize its products to meet the needs of customers in these markets. In addition, ITT has partnered with Chinese water authorities to develop community-based water treatment solutions for rural villages that don't have access to a municipal water infrastructure. ITT and China's Ministry of Water Resources are currently piloting systems in two small villages in China's Hebei Province.
To help address the sanitation crisis in the world's poorest regions, ITT recently announced ITT Watermark, which includes an initial three-year, $3 million commitment to provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene education to 300 schools in India, Guatemala and Honduras. ITT will work with its strategic partner, Water For People, a non-profit international development organizations, to conduct this important work.
Among the innovative programs ITT is supporting is one in West Bengal, India where many girls lack access to basic toilets at school, which results in significant absenteeism when these girls reach puberty and require private sanitation facilities. To address this, Water For People has created a contest where these school girls submit their designs for toilets that would best serve their needs. The winning design will be developed and deployed in their school.
ITT Corporation is a diversified high-technology engineering and manufacturing company dedicated to creating more livable environments, enabling communications and providing protection and safety.