About nine million litres of clean water are flowing each day in Africa thanks to a Washington water-cooler firm and their customers.
AquAid, based in Pattinson Industrial Estate, has just announced that it has managed to raise £188,496 over the last 12 years to help transform the lives of people desperate for clean water – an increase of over £26,000 on last year, helping it to buy an extra 184 pumps.
The firm is confident of reaching a charity target of £500,000 by 2021 because demand for water coolers and dispensers across the North East has risen.
AquAid managing director Gordon Dobson said: “We work in co-operation with The Africa Trust, which helps install the innovative elephant pumps across Africa.
“This year’s donations have taken our total number of pumps to 891 and according to the trust they are all still in working order, giving villagers across the African continent fresh water daily.”
Since 2002, AquAid has helped pay for the installation of 891 “elephant pumps” which draw up fresh drinking water from the ground below to villages across remote parts of Africa. And each pump has the capacity to provide around 500 people with up to 20 litres of water a day and is paid for with the proceeds of water-coolers from across the North East region.
Every Elephant Pump installed costs only £200 and can supply more than 500 people with safe drinking water each day.
According to The United Nations, people need 50 litres of water per day in order to prepare meals and to have enough for personal hygiene.
However, many people in Africa get by with just 20 litres water per day, which is the same as what the average Briton uses when having a shower for just 1.5 minutes.
Mr Dobson added: “Without the support of our loyal customers, we could not have made the donations. With their help we are confident of hitting our long-term charitable donation target.”