Pump Aid's Solutions Provide Clean, Safe Water for Millions in Rural Africa
Every Monday we profile a Dow Live Earth Run for Water partner organization that works toward providing solutions to the nearly 1 billion people who lack access to clean, safe water. To donate to one of these projects, visit liveearth.org/give.
Pump Aid is an international Water and Sanitation charity that tackles poverty by working with local communities in southern Africa. Pump Aid does this by establishing sustainable supplies of clean water and safer sanitation solutions. The long-term effects of our work will ensure improved health and increased agricultural production by improving the availability and quality of water for domestic consumption; promoting the productive use of water in agriculture, tree-planting; and providing sanitation with health education.
Pump Aid began in 1998 when 3 teachers working at a local school in Zimbabwe saw firsthand how unsafe, open sources of water affected the community, and as a result worked together to develop the Elephant Pump, which is a low cost solution providing clean water to rural communities and has to date installed over 5,000 elephant pumps which has provided over 1 million people with access to clean water supplies.
Improving sanitation provision for rural communities is also one of Pump Aid's aims, and has such developed the Elephant Toilet with communities to tackle this issue. Clean, safe sanitation is a pressing issue, as 2.5 billion people do not have access to this basic necessity - a toilet. The Elephant Toilet provides dignity to its users and health benefits to the community as a whole.
With established programs in Malawi and Zimbabwe, Pump Aid decided to move into Liberia at the beginning of 2009. Liberia was decimated by 25 years of economic mismanagement and 14 years of brutal civil war. The highest priority for the economy is rebuilding infrastructure especially roads, electricity and water which are crucial to nearly every aspect of its recovery. One of the world's poorest countries, Liberia suffers from high unemployment and illiteracy.
Pump Aid is currently working with former child soldiers in Liberia. This will have the duel benefit of providing clean water and sanitation but also giving key skills to this group of vulnerable people which will in turn help them to reintegrate into their communities and give something back to their country.
You can find out more about Pump Aid and our work by visiting www.pumpaid.org or donate using by clicking on the button at right.