Students’ positive health behaviors contribute to higher academic grades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Schools need to provide a clean and hygienic place for students and staff to facilitate a conducive learning environment, especially when face-to-face learning still places students at risk of catching COVID-19.
Mars Wrigley, the leading confectionery manufacturer, partnered with Save the Children Philippines for the installation of a rainwater catchment system in Antipolo City National Science and Technology High School (AnSci) to address the 8-year-long challenge of students and teachers in accessing clean water.
“We at Mars Wrigley are committed to responding to the challenges of the communities where we operate. Access to an interrupted supply of water is a basic necessity for many people today so when AnSci wrote to us about their problems in their ability to access clean water, we knew that we had to respond to that call and come up with a solution,” said Mars Wrigley Antipolo Factory Director Fernando del Castillo.
The Mars Wrigley Antipolo team applied their engineering skills and expertise together to design a system that would enable access to water at the school. They also built and commissioned the rainwater catchment system that works by capturing rainwater from the school roof to be collected in several tanks. From here, water is treated and pumped to the comfort rooms and used for general cleaning of facilities.
For several years, AnSci and two other neighboring schools share one water supply and depend only on water deliveries which results in frequent shortages. The rainwater catchment system now serves as a more reliable source of safe water that the school lacked. It provides a sustainable and innovative solution that benefits the wellbeing of more than 600 students and academic staff.
“The containers may not be filled to the brim but they have enough water to last and be used for various purposes. With more than enough water supply, the rain catchment system also provides for the school’s Gulayan sa Paaralan program,” said AnSci principal Rosanna Ortiz.
“We’re happy to see that AnSci students, teachers, and personnel can now come to school with more confidence. Through this initiative, it shows the positive impact business and community can have when working together. We hope to maintain this rain catchment for AnSci and replicate the same solution for other schools and communities that are facing the same problem,” said del Castillo.
Know more about Mars Wrigley’s community initiatives at https://www.mars.com/made-by-mars/mars-wrigley/foundation.