May 22, 2013
18 June 2012
Some countries face flooding, others in drought. Millions are now living with unsafe water and poor sanitation.
HSBC Group last week launched "HSBC Water Programme", to provide US$100 million under 5-year partnership with WWF, WaterAid and Earthwatch to tackle water risks in river basins. It was launched after a Frontier Economics report for HSBC that by 2050, the top 10 river basins by population are expected to produce a quartrer of global GDP - a figure greater than the combined future economies of the US, Japan and Germany - and a sharp increase from the current contribution of 10 per cent.
Yet, without improvement in water resource management, 7 of the basins will face unsustainable water consumption with significant to severe water scarcity, meaning at least 30 per cent of the natural water run-off is being consumed. The GDP growth expected would then not materialise and the communities and businesses would not thrive. The Ganges is top of the top 10 most populated river basins. Others include the Yangtze, the Nile, and Danube.
The report showed that in 2010, nearly 800 million poeple were without access to safe water, and 2.5 billion without access to basic sanitation. Providing universal access to safe water and sanitation would imply potential economic gain of $220 billion per annum between now and 2015. Providing universal access in Brazil, India and China alone would amount to an equivalent of more than $113 billion.
"Today's findings show that the future the river basins is critical for global economic growth. Rapid, collaborative action worldwide is needed to improve water resource management in river basins," said HSBC chairman Douglas Flint. "The HSBC Water Programme will benefit communities in need, and enable economies to prosper."
The Japanese government, under its grant assistance for grassroots human security projects scheme (GGP), is providing Bt1.88 million for waste-management centres and promoting waste recycling in Samokhae sub-district in the Muang district of Phitsanulok province.
Richard Abela, country president of Novartis (Thailand) has donated Bt473,000 to the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind, under the patronage of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
General Motors vice president of global manufacturing and president of international operations Tim Lee recently joined GM Southeast Asia president Martin Apfel to hand out 130 virtually indestructible footballs to schoolchildren in Chon Buri.