Veoliaforce is the humanitarian arm of the Veolia Environnement Foundation, providing emergency humanitarian assistance by sending employee volunteers and equipment to areas affected by disasters.
The work uses the skills of operational employees for emergency relief such as setting up mobile water treatment units to give communities access to clean drinking water supplies.
It relies on a global network of employees who volunteer both their time and expertise to help those communities - both local and overseas - affected by a disaster. Two Australian employees, Ben Van Zeyl from the Bendigo operations in Victoria and Tony Corbo from the Hope Valley Water Treatment Plant in Adelaide represent Veolia Water Australia and New Zealand in the Veoliaforce Asia Pacific disaster response team.
In conjunction with emergency response operations, the volunteers also assist with international development projects supported by the Foundation.
How have we responded in the past?
In 2008, Veoliaforce responded to a devastating earthquake in the Sichuan province in China by installing three emergency assistance water treatment units. Each unit provided safe drinking water to 5,000 people each day.
In 2009, Veoliaforce responded to the devastating earthquake in Haiti by installing ten compact and easy to install water production, storage and distribution systems. Each unit provided clean water to 5,000 refugees a day (20 litres of water a day per person). Veoliaforce also sent a team of six experts to accompany the equipment, set it up, train local teams and intervene on the ground to support local water services.
In the wake of the earthquake in Japan in mid-March 2011, the Foundation responded to the appeal for assistance from the authorities in Minamisanriku, 150 km north of Fukushima. The district, hit very hard by the earthquake, also had to provide temporary housing for numerous refugees from neighbouring districts. The Foundation sent two Aquaforce 5000-type mobile water treatment units, which were installed by Japanese volunteers working for Veolia Water Asia. The mobile units set up provided enough water to supply neighbouring regions by tanker-truck.
Responding to local emergencies
Veolia Water together with Veolia Environmental Services, Veolia Transport and Veolia Energy, donated A$350,000 to the Red Cross Bush Fire Appeal in February 2009. Many Veolia Water Australia employees also donated an hour of their pay to this cause.