Friday 9th October 2020 11:29
Thames Water staff have raised more than £1.3 million to improve access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene in impoverished communities in Malawi.
In partnership with international charity WaterAid, the company’s Thames Loves Malawi project saw employees swimming, cycling, trekking, quizzing and raft racing to raise much-needed funds for two towns in the African country.
One in three people in Malawi lack access to clean water and more than half of the population don’t have a decent toilet.
The four-year project saw more than 8,000 people in Mponela and Kasungu gain access to clean water through the installation of 10 raised storage tanks and two solar-powered pumps. Almost 25,000 people now have access to decent toilets and 16,000 were given vital education on hygiene and handwashing.
The fundraising challenges taken on by Thames Water staff included a rowing race on the River Thames in London, a sponsored Mario Kart tournament and the annual WaterAid Raft Race, where companies build their own themed watercraft and attempt to negotiate the Thames course in Reading without them falling apart.
The Thames Loves Malawi campaign also goes beyond fundraising. Over the years, Thames Water has shared skills, knowledge and expertise. A team from Thames Water also travelled to Malawi to work with the Central Region Water Board from Malawi, while the board made the return trip to visit to the UK in November 2018.
Claire Iredale, Thames Water’s charities and volunteering coordinator, said: “The incredible efforts of our generous people have helped bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to those who need it most.
“It’s a staggering amount of money to have raised and I couldn’t be prouder of those who enthusiastically threw themselves in to a range of fun and interesting fund-raisers for this great cause.”
Marcus Missen, WaterAid’s director of communications and fundraising, said: “The unwavering support from Thames Water volunteers and supporters – from fundraising to sharing their skills with peers – has ensured that communities in Kasungu and Mponela small towns have access to the clean water handwashing facilities which are essential in the fight against deadly diseases like COVID-19.
“This is an incredible achievement and has helped transform lives in not just for today, but for good.”
The latest figure means Thames Water’s employees and customers have donated more than £40 million to WaterAid since the charity was founded in 1981, with the money going towards vital projects across the globe.