Water sales help a million Africans

Thanks to the sales of Co-op-brand Fairbourne Springs mineral water, a million people in Africa are enjoying fresh clean drinking water on a daily basis.

For every litre of Fairbourne Springs sold in co-operative and Somerfield stores around the UK, 3p is donated by the Co-operative Retail Trading Group to the One Foundation, an organisation which provides innovative PlayPump water systems for some of Africa’s poorest and most remote communities.

Due to increased sales of Fairbourne Springs water following the Co-operative Group’s acquisition of Somerfield chain, over 400 pumps have now been supplied and fitted.

A CRTG spokeswoman told the News: “A staggering one billion people in the world don’t have access to clean water and two million people die every year from water-related diseases.

“Since the beginning of the partnership with the One Foundation, a percentage of the sales from Fairbourne Springs products has gone directly towards installing the unique roundabout pumps in South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland. 

“The pumps have transformed the lives of whole communities, especially for many women and children, who may have previously spent hours each day walking to collect water.” 

The PlayPump water systems are powered by roundabouts, which children play on and pump water up to a storage tank for use by the whole community. The PlayPumps are so popular that there is never a shortage of young volunteers, and the pumps also produce excess water for irrigation purposes.

To mark the milestone and to encourage even more customers to support water for water projects in Africa, the Group is launching an awareness campaign to communicate the One Million People message via in-store communications and social media activity. 

The Group will also be using its website (www.goodwithfood.co.uk) and social networking streams to get the message across. A YouTube video (s.coop/2ob) features Tom Mills, the Group’s soft drinks buyer, speaking to children and villagers in Swaziland about the difference the PlayPump has made.

All the communications feature case studies on people whose lives have been changed by the initiative. 

One of the case studies tells the story of 12-year-old Lerato Mogap, who used to spend three hours a day gathering water for her sick mum and younger brother. Now the PlayPump has been installed in her village, Skuinsdrift, in the North West Province of South Africa, Lerato now uses this precious time studying towards her dream of becoming a nurse.

• For further details on the project, visit: s.coop/2m3.

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