A water company has committed to help save 70,000 lives in some of the world’s poorest communities over the next five years.
Taps and toilets for 70,000 in Madagascar on video: https://youtu.be/95KmS7imDRE
Northumbrian Water is to raise £1 million for its adopted international charity partner, WaterAid, which improves access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in 37 countries.
The country to benefit from these vital, life-changing funds is Madagascar.
The island, which is the fourth largest in the world and lies off the south east coast of Africa, has a population of almost 25 million. 10.9 million people don’t have access to a tap and 18 million don’t have access to a safe and private toilet.
Andrew Blakemore, Northumbrian WaterAid’s chairman, said: “4,000 children die every year in Madagascar from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. This is totally unacceptable in this day and age and we’re determined to do something about it.
“We held our annual Northumbrian WaterAid Ball last Friday (June 19) and the £25,500 that we have raised is the start of our £1 million commitment to Madagascar.
“WaterAid doesn’t only provide taps, toilets and hygiene education. It enables children to go to school and to play, as they don’t have to walk miles and miles to collect water that they know will make them and their families ill. It helps communities to grow by empowering them and building their skills so they can become self-sufficient. It campaigns to change policy. It gives people a hope, a future.
“I am so proud and excited that we are going to continue to give people life. By choosing a specific country we will be able to see tangible benefits from specific projects in specific communities. I want to thank our customers, WaterAid partners and employees who already help us to raise vital funds and look forward to helping some of the poorest people in the world together.”
The money will be raised through various events, sporting activities, a WaterAid lottery, donations and partnerships.
Ernest Randriarimalala, who lives in Madagascar and is WaterAid’s Voices from the Field Officer in the country, has recently visited the North East and attended the annual Northumbrian WaterAid Ball. He met many of the volunteers, partners and Northumbrian Water employees who will help to give the communities that he works in a tap, toilet and hygiene education.
Ernest, who is 37, said: “When I was a little boy I had to spend lots of time collecting unsafe water for my family. The buckets were very heavy to carry and I had to climb a steep slope which was dangerous when it rained, as it became very slippery. I know how children feel when they have to do the same for their families today. I remember going to the toilet behind a building and the smell was horrible and you had to be very careful where you put your feet.
“This is the third time I have visited the UK and it is my second visit to the North East. I love the North East! When I was in my hotel I spent hours in the bath – it was incredible to have running hot and cold water!
“I think what Northumbrian Water has committed to do is amazing, as it will change the lives of so many people in my country. I thank them, their customers and partners from the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful.”
For further information contact Cara Charlton on 0191 301 6720.
• The Northumbrian WaterAid committee has raised £5 million for WaterAid since 1981. You can find us on facebook – Northumbrian WaterAid.
• For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @WaterAidUK or @WaterAid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid.
• Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with sanitation.
• Around 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.
• Over 750 million people are without safe water, or one in 10 in the world.
• 2.5 billion people are without adequate sanitation, or 39% of the world′s population.