By Gary Thomas
The Water and Sanitation panel at the Aid and International Development Forum included Scott Griffin, chief sustainability officer of Greif among other international leaders.
This discussion took place on June 6, 2012 in which Griffin spoke about health and humanitarian issues in relation to supply of water to developing nations and disaster areas in Haiti.
Griffin, who has experience in community engagement and sustainable packaging, highlighted the difficulties faced by people while taking clean water to their homes. He suggested the development of local jobs with products used to enhance the transportation of water. One such product according to Griffin is the use of water backpacks in Haiti.
Based on an analysis by UNICEF, it has been estimated that children and women spend a lot of time collecting water on a daily basis as they travel between the place where water is available and back to their homes. Another problem is carrying water in damaged buckets and jerry cans that have previously been used to contain fuel oils, lubricants or agrichemicals.
To do away with these problems, Greif invented the WaterWear backpack that is durable and lightweight. The WaterWear backpack has a holding capacity of 20 liters and is conveniently used in comparison with buckets. The WaterWear backpack was put to test in Guatemala to analyze its effectiveness.
Greif has supplied resources to support Haiti in its recovery efforts after the January 2010 earthquake. Greif also collaborated with Prodev and Partners in Education, Clinton Global Initiative. and Partners in Health to uplift the state in Haiti.