Ferrovial has begun accepting applications from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to participate in the company's Social Infrastructure international aid program. This initiative aims to palliate the imbalances and lack of water and sewage infrastructure in vulnerable communities in rural and urban areas of Africa and in four countries in Latin America (Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil).
Ferrovial will grant a total of 500,000 euro to selected projects. Its employees will also provide technical and technological assistance: company volunteers will contribute their experience and knowledge by advising NGOs, both on site and from Ferrovial's offices. Every year, a group of Ferrovial volunteers travels to the project site with a view to improving project efficiency and passing on to communities the knowledge to keep the installations operational after the project is completed.
"This new edition of our Social Infrastructure program strengthens our commitment to the development of vulnerable communities in Africa and Latin America through active participation, which is more valuable than a simple donation. We provide our experience and expertise doing what we know best: infrastructure, which adds a distinguishing element to the projects," says Juan Francisco Polo, Head of Communication and Corporate Responsibility.
The Social Infrastructure program received the "Social Investment Pioneer Award" from the United Nations Global Compact
, and was a finalist in the prestigious UK corporate responsibility awards "Business in the Community". The company's Maji ni Uhai
project in Tanzania was recognized with the European Commission's International Cooperation Award for Sustainable Development.
NGOs have one month in which to submit their projects for access to drinking water and sewer infrastructure. Candidates must be headquartered in Spain and have at least three years' experience in the area where they operate.
Water infrastructure in Africa and Latin America
To date, more than 75,000 people have benefited from the Social Infrastructure program. Ferrovial is currently collaborating on four projects under this initiative. In Colombia, it is working with Ayuda en Acción on an aqueduct and a water supply network in Pacurita, in Quibdó municipality. In Ethiopia, Ferrovial and Intermón Oxfam are building a water supply and sewage network in 8 wards in the Boloso Sore and Sodo Zuria districts. Ferrovial has joined forces with Plan España to develop a drinking water and sewage system in four communities of the Olmedo Canton, in Peru. The company has also teamed up with ONGAWA to establish sustainable water supply systems in Kata de Maore, Tanzania.