The Water Dispenser & Hydration Association (WHA) has funded a new borehole construction project to bring safe, hygienic water to a village in Africa, by donating to the charity, Just a Drop.
The charity has used monies raised by WHA members to build a borehole that is already transforming the lives of nearly 300 people in Machilika Village in Zambia. This is the 6th such borehole programme funded by the industry.
Until now, the Machilika community’s main source of water was a well that would often run dry, forcing people to draw water from a stream using unsanitary containers. During the dry season, people had to walk up to 5 kilometres to fetch vital water – taking up to 2 hours to obtain this basic commodity. Now it takes just 20 minutes.
The water from both the stream and the well caused water-borne disease. Children were often too unwell to attend school and adults were prone to illness preventing them from earning a living.
Work on building the borehole began in June 2021 and the project management team has also installed a hand pump and provided training for the people in the village. The training includes maintenance, sanitation awareness, and financial management.
The WHA’s general manager, Philippa Atkinson-Clow, said: “We are delighted to support this cause. One of our sector’s previous associations, the BWCA, began this support programme, and when it merged with another association, EDWCA, to form the WHA I was delighted that our new Executive Council decided to carry on the good work. As a trade association, members have not only raised money through the WHA for Just a Drop but have inspired a ‘ripple effect’ with several initiating their own projects for the charity.”
Jon Wicks, WHA chairman, said: “In the UK, access to clean water is taken for granted. I am proud of our industry for responding to fund-raising challenges enabling us to build another borehole. It means that another village community is now healthier and avoid the risk of drinking contaminated water; children can spend time at school because they are sick less often and because they don’t have to collect water; and adults in the village can avoid spending so many hours every year fetching water. ‘Just a drop’ of water is so much more than just a health-giving drink: initiatives like this transform lives by increasing educational and economic opportunities and improving well-being for all. I thank our members for their generosity especially at a time when business has been challenging. I am proud of what we’ve achieved so far.”
Fiona Jeffery OBE, founder of Just a Drop, said: “We are delighted to be working with the WHA to enable more communities in Zambia to access safe water. Their support is truly making a huge difference.”