Training in humanitarian response

Access to essential services in poor conditions in France and abroad

Veoliaforce's water, sanitation and waste management solutions have become a standard in humanitarian action, and are the focus of a growing number of training courses. The aim is to disseminate the expertise acquired by the Veolia Foundation in the field of access to essential services to humanitarian actors. A look back at recent collaborations with the Norwegian Refugee Council, the French Red Cross and the Bioforce Institute, while new Veoliaforce volunteers have just been trained in this area.

After Norwegian Refugee Council staff in Honduras in April and French Red Cross team members at the end of May, Veolia employees, Veoliaforce volunteers, completed their training at the end of June. Twenty-seven employees from a dozen Veolia entities were mobilized for three days at a site in Mayenne. They learned how to deploy Aquaforce mobile water treatment units and manage crisis situations in a humanitarian environment.

The Foundation's partners, Médecins Sans Frontières and Solidarités International, were also on hand to report on joint missions and share best practices. Experienced volunteers who had already been on a mission also shared their experiences in the field.

Some of these Veoliaforce volunteers take part in the French Red Cross' Humanitarian Emergency Response Teams (ERU). What are these teams? Specialized personnel and equipment that can be deployed at short notice during sudden-onset or slow-onset disasters. These ERUs are activated when the local and regional capacities of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement are exceeded. The expertise of Veoliaforce volunteers in access to water and sanitation is particularly sought after. 

Disseminating our know-how and Veoliaforce equipment to our NGO partners is now a regular activity for the Veolia Foundation. It is our responsibility to give humanitarian actors access to the broad spectrum of Veolia's expertise.
David Poinard
Executive Officer, Veolia Foundation

This training follows an initial session in Honduras, in April, with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).  Two Veoliaforce experts trained staff from the NGO and their local contacts to ensure sustainable access to water. An Aquaforce 2000, capable of supplying water for 2,000 people (according to Sphere standards), was deployed and staff trained in its operation. These local players are now able to produce water continuously on this migration route, used by an average of 2,000 displaced persons and refugees every day.

Lastly, the Bioforce Institute, a training and career guidance center for humanitarian professions, welcomed two Veoliaforce waste management experts to train students at the Vénissieux site in June.

The experience of access to essential services is becoming an essential part of humanitarian intervention. With Veoliaforce skills sponsorship, the Veolia Foundation organizes the provision of this invaluable expertise. They enable NGOs to improve their efficiency and responsiveness to populations affected by disasters.