We Are Water Foundation


We Are Water Blog

2014 October 21
  • New project of the We Are Water Foundation to continue helping those affected in the Philippines.
  • Rehabilitating the water and sanitation systems is vital for the families with fewer resources.
  • The project will provide access to drinking water to 4,500 people.
More help for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan

The consequences of Typhoon Haiyan have left serious deficiencies in water and sanitation in the Philippines. The We Are Water Foundation is developing a new project jointly with the World Vision International Foundation to provide safe access to drinking water for the families most in need from the province of Leyte.

Afectados tifón Haiyan

The consequences of an unprecedented disaster

The disaster of Typhoon Haiyan, which last November devastated the provinces of Samar and Leyte, affected 14.1 million people, caused more than 6,200 deaths and 4.1 million people displaced. Currently, more than ten months after the tragedy, thousands of people are still missing and, according to the El País newspaper, losses are valued at an estimated 14 billion dollars.

As is usual in this type of disaster, the poorest are always the most affected, above all due to their reduced capacity for recovery. The Eastern Visayas, which the province of Leyte belongs to, was already the most depressed region of the Philippines before the typhoon passed, with 37% of the population living below the poverty line. In the case of Haiyan, 2.6 million homes and 5.9 million children have been left even poorer than they were and without resources to even survive in a dignified way. Just as UNICEF pointed out, the scope of the destruction caused is unprecedented and very difficult to take in. (See newsletter of the 13 December 2013)

Since then, thanks to international aid and the admirable resilience of the Philippine people, the area has been slowly recovering and, as often occurs in this type of devastation, safe access to water is one of the most serious problems, mainly due to the difficulty of restoring the necessary sanitation installations.

Afectados tifón Haiyan

Another factor to consider is the extreme vulnerability of the area affected. An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year. If a heavy storm hit the province of Leyte again, the consequences would be much more serious for the already depleted resources of its inhabitants.

The new project: safe access to water for 800 families

One of the immediate and long-term consequences of Typhoon Haiyan has been the destruction of the community water systems, which has obliged the population to use contaminated sources, reduce water consumption and depending on external aid.

The We Are Water Foundation responded actively in the first stage of dealing with the emergency, immediately after hearing of the disaster. In collaboration with the World Vision Foundation it initiated a project with the aim of providing water drums for the most affected, a fundamental element for collecting water and purifying it. (See the first project with the World Vision Foundation)

In the current stage of reconstruction, the priority is to rehabilitate the water supply systems, supervise the quality and treat it. The new project, Rehabilitation of Water Systems and Sanitation in the Area Affected by Typhoon Haiyan, represents the continuity in the aid initiated by the Foundation.

Afectados tifón Haiyan

The goal of the project is rehabilitate eight community water systems, six level 1 (which comprises 4 or 5 wells, rainwater collectors or springs, supplied with a manual pump); and two level 2 (community taps connected by pipes to a deposit and a source of water with more flow).

This will enable access to drinking water to 4,500 people (900 families), which will have a direct impact on their state of health on having safe water for drinking and cooking, which in turn will enable a reduction in the effect of diseases linked to the ingestion of contaminated water. Indirectly, due to the impact on the conditions of health in the towns involved, another 3,000 people will benefit from hygiene and environmental care measures, which will also result in a better state of health.

The project will give priority to families in which one of its members is disabled, where there are pregnant women and/children aged below five, single-parent families or responsible for a minor, and the displaced.

The importance of the sustainability of the systems

The project deals with water safety plans with the eight water and sanitation committees chosen by the beneficiaries and made up of members of the community. These will organise and prepare in the communities, using a strategy of risk management to ensure the drinkable water can be achieved and improved sustainably.

This involvement of the population affected in the planning and execution of the actions of the project will encourage the communities to be responsible for the reconstructed water systems. All the systems will be transferred to the users, along with the details and specifications required for the know-how, good practice and maintenance.

Afectados tifón Haiyan

Complementarily, awareness-raising courses will be given about hygiene and environmental care to change the habits that put health at risk. This training will be done with proven methods, adapted to the culture and capacities of the beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries will be involved so that they participate in the planning and execution of the project, and will ensure that the community feedback mechanisms already existing function correctly. All the above is also key to providing the maximum sustainability of the actions.

As a result of all this, 900 families from Leyte will be able to have a better quality of life, the children make the most of the education they get in school and the adults embark on a productive activity that will lead them to a more dignified life.

About the We Are Water Foundation

The We Are Water Foundation, promoted by the Roca company, has as objectives, on the one hand, to raise awareness amongst the general public and the administrations about the need to promote a new culture of water and, on the other hand, relieve the negative effects related to the lack of hydric resources, through the development of cooperation and aid programmes alongside diverse organisations such as Education without Frontiers, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, Intermón Oxfam and UNICEF.

2014 October 9
  • A new project of the We Are Water Foundation with UNICEF to create secure learning environments.
  • More than 17,000 children and 32,000 people would benefit from improvement in water, sanitation and hygiene in the region of Zagora.
  • Children and teachers will become agents of dynamic change in safeguarding and promoting improved services.
Support for the WinS programme in Morocco

Programa WinS

The WinS (WASH in Schools) call to action programme is one of the priorities of both the We Are Water Foundation and UNICEF to provide support to childhood. WASH is an acronym of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, the programme of the United Nations agency that works directly on the serious problem that the lack of drinking water and suitable sanitation causes for children in the most disadvantaged parts of the world. The application of the WASH programme in schools helps save the lives of many children threatened by diarrhoea and other infectious diseases due to the bad state of the water and greatly improves school attendance. In this sense, the availability of separate toilets for boys and girls, with suitable sanitation, is especially advantageous for girls since it provides them with the appropriate privacy, and is one of the most efficient supports to eradicate the blot of school absenteeism among them.

The situation in the schools of Zagora

This is basically the sphere of action of the new Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Morrocan primary schools  programme that the We Are Water Foundation is developing with UNICEF. The Moroccan region of Souss Massa Dra is in the south of the High Atlas, and Zagora is the largest of its provinces, with 22,215 km2 of land and 285,000 inhabitants who live mainly in the rural half. Its relief, made up of valleys and mountains, offers great contrasts between acacia woods and the desert plains and plateaus.

Programa WinS 1

Its economy is based on agriculture and access to water and suitable sanitation is scarce throughout the province. Moreover, as often occurs in these cases, education about water management and sanitation is practically inexistent, as is the culture of hygiene in the schools, which on the other hand offers very limited access to disabled children. All this has a bearing on the increase in water-related diseases, as occurs in the towns of Ait Ouallal, Agdez and Tamezmoute, some of the most affected in the region.

The area therefore clearly needs integral support external to the WinS programme in order to supply teams and maintenance services in the schools, as well as creating the educational base to favour changes in behaviour relating to hygiene.

More than 32,000 beneficiaries

The project is based specifically on improving installations of water, sanitation and hygiene, and contributes to the creation of a safe setting in the 19 primary schools set as the target, of which four are in Ait Ouallal, five in Agdez and ten in Tamezmoute.

Programa WinS 2

The separation of the toilets by gender, one of the essential features of the improvements, helps girls and boys to use them more and in a better way, and their location in controlled spots and with suitable sanitation avoids contaminating the land of the school, its resources and the water sources, which are very precarious throughout the area. The project also includes the safe and hygienic storage of food, improvement in the installations for preparing and eating it, and the waste elimination system.

The direct beneficiaries of this project, which will be undertaken until the end of 2016, will be the boys and girls from the 19 primary schools involved, as well as their teachers and educational staff, more than 4,100 people; whereas the indirect beneficiaries extends to the whole community and surpasses 32,000 (more than 7,500 women and almost 18,000 children aged under 15), thanks to the sensitizing plan in water management and sanitation, and raising awareness about the importance of hygiene habits in the entire community.

Pupils and teachers, agents of change towards a safe and sustainable school environment

Parallel to the improvement in access to water and sanitation, the project influences, in a very special way, in raising the consciousness about the best practices for water, sanitation and hygiene among the pupils, teachers and representatives of the community in the towns. The whole community clearly benefits.

The pupils of the 19 schools in the project are the main protagonists in its realisation. On the one hand, they take part in the decisions that are taken, will advise on the preparation of communication aids about hygiene habits and in the very mechanisms of school governance. On the other hand, they take part in the monitoring and evaluation of the project’s activities, as well as in the good management of the infrastructures created.

The school thus becomes a centre of community knowledge about good practices in water management, sanitation and hygiene. On transporting this praxis to their homes and local governments, the children and teachers become agents of change and thus guarantee the sustainability of the installations and the future promotion of knowledge regarding management and hygiene.

In this sense, the We Are Water Foundation and UNICEF place special emphasis on community participation being present in the whole cycle of the project from the diagnosis of the problems to the evaluation of the solutions. The hygiene promotion materials will be produced in the languages of the beneficiary populations, and will be accessible for people with different levels of training and education. On the other hand, the involvement of the local authorities guarantees a development plan, human and technical resources, and funding in order to respond to the priorities identified in the community.

About the We Are Water Foundation

The We Are Water Foundation, promoted by the Roca company, has as objectives, on the one hand, to raise awareness amongst the general public and the administrations about the need to promote a new culture of water and, on the other hand, relieve the negative effects related to the lack of hydric resources, through the development of cooperation and aid programmes alongside diverse organisations such as Education without Frontiers, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, Intermón Oxfam and UNICEF.

We Art Water Festival
2014 June 5

Information about the gala awards ceremony of the Festival.

Additional information about the gala awards ceremony of the WAWFF2

The gala awards ceremony of the We Art Water Film Festival 2 will take place on June 16 at the Roca Madrid Gallery, which is located at 57 José Abascal Street. The gala will start at 20h and the follow members of the jury will attend:

Judith Colell
Xavier Torras
Agustí Villaronga
Pascal Edelmann
Carl Hensman
Carlos Jiménez Renjifo
Emilio Mayorga

We will unveil the names of the winners of each category during the gala, as well as the name of the winner of the audience award.

We hope to see you there! We will have a great time! If you have not watched the finalist films yet, and you want to watch them before the gala, you may do it on the Festival’s website.

Thank you very much for participating on this second edition of the Festival. See you on the 16th!

We Art Water Festival
2014 June 3

In this post we provide more information about the finalist films with the most votes from the audience.

Finalist films of the We Art Water Film Festival 2 with the most votes from the audience

We are sure that you would like to know what finalist films of the WAWFF2 have received the most votes from the public; hence below we present the list of the top 5 films, in alphabetical order:

- Deadline - Raihan Ahmmed

- Droplets - Diana Monova

- Take shorter showers - Adele

- Toño - Marco M. Agredo Alegría

- We are water - Pablo

Do you know them yet? Are they among your favorite films? Remember that you may watch all of them on the Festival's website.

We will unveil the winner of the audience award on June 16, during the gala awards ceremony that will take place at the Roca Gallery in Madrid. Save the date on your calendar! Only a few days away! Do you know what you will be wearing yet?

Your first donation,
your email

Know what we do, spread it and start working

* Required fields