A company based in the north of England is continuing to help save the lives of poor people in some 50 countries across the globe ‚Äì by partnering with Christian Aid, the UK development agency, and by encouraging offices and public buildings to buy and use water coolers which donate a percentage of costs to water projects in the developing world.
AquAid water coolers donated more than ¬£350,000 in the past year (2006) to Christian Aid specifically for water-related projects, reports ThisIsCheshire newspaper.
Ian Flannery, managing director of Warrington-based AquAid, declared: "It gives us great encouragement to think that while people are drinking our water, we are also helping to save the lives of people on the other side of the world."
Added Sarah Gaskin of Christian Aid: "We are grateful to AquAid for all their efforts in making a difference to people's lives."
The partnership has also been promoted through the agency‚Äôs Pressureworks project, aimed at involving young people in justice and development issues. Student unions are among those using the water coolers.
AquAid donates money to two charities, the other being Pump Aid. Since 1998 the company says that it been able to donate in excess of ¬£1,700,000 to developing world water projects
So far this has helped more than 250,000 people gain access to clean, safe drinking water. The company (http://www.aquaid.co.uk/) donates 40p for every bottle sold and ¬£20 per annum for every mains-fed machine installed.
One concern about office water coolers relates to environmental impact, with most users drinking their water in plastic cups. This is being tackled in many local situations by the use of recyclable products ‚Äì or by encouraging the use and re-use of mugs and cups.