Staff reporter

The Rotary Club safe water project launched in 2018 won an environmental award on November 8, called the Energy Globe Award, organised by an independent Energy Globe Foundation in Austria.

The USD 1 million project ‘BHUTAN2020’ was being implemented in collaboration with Disaster Aid Australia (DAA) and it delivered 111 patented SkyHydrant water filters to schools in Sarpang, Dagana and Wangduephodrang. SkyHydrant water filters remove bacteria from the water supply to schools and help deliver safe drinking water to students.

The chairperson for the project, Yeshey Dorji, said about 90,000 students benefited from the project and they will deliver the remaining nine filters soon. “Although the project is nearing completion, we have a commitment from our partners in Australia that the project will be further extended for two years.”

Project ‘BHUTAN2020’ was initiated after the present chairperson of Disaster Aid International, K K Looi, visited Bhutan in 2017 for a conference, spoke about the SkyHydrant water filtration system, and connected the Rotary Club members with DAA.

Rotary Club president Tshewang Rinzing said it is significant that global leaders are recognising the club’s work when humanity is seeing unprecedented hardship brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We thank our international partners, Disaster Aid Australia, for their unwavering support to provide safe water to our children,” he said.

He said the Rotary Club is the only organization in the world whose members contribute personal money and time to do community service. “Even the office staff’s salary and office rent are financed through contributions by the members.”

Meanwhile, the Energy Globe Award has been honouring the best projects addressing environmental issues for the past 20 years.