Empowering people to develop and deploy innovation to solve water challenges globally
Empowering people to develop and deploy innovation to solve water challenges globally
The need for #SafeWater for young children is vital when one takes into consideration that it is them who suffer the most from water borne diseases. Through Aqua4Life Humanity we have over the years delivered hundreds of thousands litres of clean water to those most at need.
On 10 November 2016 Rotary Safe Water, Marriott International and the Pebbles Project (who are managing the project) partnered to deliver LifeStraw Community units to the farm community of 169 adults and children on the Bellevue Wine Estate which includes the Malbekkies Crèche in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
They get their running water from the Theewaterskloof dam but the water is so contaminated that they cannot drink it. A borehole has been provided by the farmer, Dirkie Morkel, where the community get the major portion of their “clean” water. This however is not that clean and they still have to boil their water. This has necessitated that they go to the shops and buy 5L water for drinking else they only drink sodas and other unhealthy cool drinks.
Representing Marriott International was Katrin Müller, Director of Customer Relationship Management of Marriott International for Middle East & Africa who was joined by Dr Tony Davidson, coordinator of Rotary Safe Water, Marelize Buys, GM of Pebbles Project, Nico Germishuizen, MD of Aqua4Life, local residents and of course the kids who attend the crèche.
A comprehensive needs analysis of the community was done to determine the amount of water filtration required. In total, the filtration units will provide the community with 1 038 000ℓ of safe water which is the equivalent of three years water need.
The kids also drew some self portraits which were given to the team as a thank you along with a heartfelt letter.
Below are selected photos from the wonderful day.
Aqua4Life launches a 67 Minutes for Mandela Day drive – with a buy one give one campaign to help save the lives of thousands. Upon the purchase of any LifeStraw® water filter – Home unit, Go Bottle or Personal Straw – via the website, aqua4life.net, a LifeStraw® water filter will be donated to one of the families in the Kgautswane Community in Sekhukhune, Limpopo Province.
Aqua4Life’s goal through the 67 Minutes for Mandela Day Drive is to create a platform for fellow South Africans to get on board and assist in implementing the dissemination of 6700 LifeStraw® units on Mandela Day. With the help of the public, the project’s motivation will be to get as much coverage per family furthest away from water sources as possible, thereafter delivering LifeStraw® clean water solutions to households closer to the water sources. This will see a reduction in waterborne diseases and improve the standard of health education and productivity in the community.
Furthermore, upon the purchase of each LifeStraw unit purchased, Vestergaard – LifeStraw’s holding company in Switzerland – also ensures a child in Southern Africa receives clean drinking water for a period of one year through their Follow-The-Litres campaign.
LifeStraw® water filters convert contaminated water into clean, safe drinking water. The easy-to-use filters are a vital tool for some of the 780 million people who don’t have ready access to safe drinking water. This leaves them at risk for diarrheal disease, which takes the lives of more than 1.5 million people every year. Safe drinking water is especially important for vulnerable groups, such as children under five years of age, pregnant women and people living with HIV. LifeStraw® water filters also prevent cryptosporidiosis, a major cause of diarrheal illness in especially these vulnerable groups. LifeStraw® water filters comply with the US Environmental Protection (EPA) 1987 Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Water Purifiers. Each product in the LifeStraw® portfolio is designed for a specific situation where safe water is needed but not readily available.
Sekhukhune, Limpopo, South Africa is situated 73 km from Lydenburg, and is home to approximately 1500 families comprising an estimated 12,000 people (5,000 adults, 5,500 children under ten years and 1,500 children between ten and 18 years of age). Most children over the age of ten years are generally sent away to boarding schools, leaving the younger siblings to carry out chores. This, combined with the prevalence of Tuberculosis, Diarrhoea, HIV and malnutrition, they miss most if not all schooling. These children, specifically the females, also have the burden of having to walk up to eight or nine kilometres each day to fetch water from the nearest water supply.
The buckets of contaminated water collected are used for drinking, bathing, washing dishes and other general household requirements. Furthermore, living amongst domestic animals and often livestock, with no containment of water available, and generally no clean water for consumption, the water collected is shared with the animals with whom they live. With no better resources and a lack of understanding regarding, sanitation and hygiene, by virtue of default, is not a main priority.
The South African community at large is encouraged to participate in this call for help to assist those in need and together work towards a better, cleaner and brighter future for our country.
To purchase your LifeStraw product and automatically donate a LifeStraw Go bottle to one of the Kgautswane community members or children, go to www.aqua4life.net, check out the LifeStraw® Facebook page for more info or connect on Twitter.
(December 2014, Cape Town) Aqua4Life, together with Relate Sea Point and Rotary international administered yet another social upliftment project on Thursday 11 December in Gugulethu. The implementation took place at the new Ikamva Labantu crèche and a Relate Bracelets Senior Club – Rainbow Community Centre and Crèche in the township, the second of +- 30 implementations to commence throughout Cape Town, with a total in excess of 3 400 000 litres of clean water for the people in dire poverty. Rotary Cub Bryn Mwar from UK and Ben Power, from LifeStraw® SA, have facilitated the funding for LifeStraw® Community units, engaging resources from Aqua4Life, Rotary Sea Point, Relate and the local community leaders to roll out the project. Each of the community units, which render 100,000 liters of clean drinking water, are being set up in areas spanning from Fish Hoek to Khayelitsha. Says Aqua4Life MD, “Gogos are often the sole breadwinners in their families, with multiple children, grandchildren and family members dependent on them. Through their hard work The Relate Gogos enable the fundraising for a plethora of causes through the production of their beaded bands, one of which being Safe/ clean water for those who most need it! With the LifeStraw® Community units they will get to experience the benefits of what they are working on first hand, and the schools and communities surrounding them will dually benefit.” The internationally acclaimed chemical-free, water micro-filtration LifeStraw® system removes bacteria, viruses and microscopic parasites. With water safe from diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid and worms, children are able to return to school, healthy, and parents to work.
November 2014, Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal – This month saw Aqua4Life, in partnership with Protea Hotel and Rotary, deliver life saving water filters to schools and clinics in the Kwa-Zulu Natal rural town of Hluhluwe. Big 5 False Bay district Mayor Katherine Gumede was also present at the proceedings.
The groundbreaking, chemical free, micro-filtration LifeStraw® system provides clean, safe drinking water free from bacteria, viruses and microscopic parasites. Water related diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, worms and gastroenteritis are estimated to cause 3.4 million deaths in the world each year.
“With LifeStraw® my company is dedicated to improving the health of disadvantaged communities by providing safe drinking water to the places that need it the most. Through strategic partnerships with organizations like Rotary, other NGO’s, corporate companies with CSI Commitments and the support of government, we hope to distribute more LifeStraw® filters to needy communities” says Aqua4Life Managing Director, Nico Germishuizen.
Germishuizen adds that this project would not have been possible without the funds raised through the sale of Relate bracelets by the Rotary Club of Sea Point’s Water Project.
With clear public health and humanitarian benefits, LifeStraw® water filters comply with South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) regulations and meets the World Health Organization’s “highly protective” criteria of water treatment. Safe, non-contaminated drinking water is especially important for vulnerable groups, such as children under five, pregnant women and people living with HIV.
Like many communities in South Africa, Hluhluwe faces the dual challenge of local service delivery and a high HIV/ Aids rate. According to Daniel Tharratt, Protea Hluhluwe General Manager, the water supply in the area is not only limited, but the quality of the water cannot be guaranteed.
“We have very limited purifying resources here. Except in hubs, the water reticulation and piping is limited. So the rural communities are dependent on water from one reservoir that supplies the whole area. The water is transported using trucks and when it is moved in containers that is where the breakdown comes in. So while it might have been clean to start with, it can get polluted when it is moved,” says Tharratt.
As well as relying on the limited water systems, communities in Hluhluwe also collect rainwater in big plastic “Jojo” tanks. This water, used for drinking, washing and cooking, also faces a high risk of being contaminated by bacteria and algae.
These tanks can clearly be seen at all the schools where the LifeStraw® water filters are being rolled out. The first school to receive a community filter is Makhasa Technical School, which is attended by 1000 pupils. Following the unveiling of the filter and a brief demonstration on how it works, the Mayor invites the principal and her pupils to taste the clean water. Their smiles of appreciation are evidence enough that the water not only looks cleaner, but also tastes better.
“We did not know about these filters until now. I hope they will keep the children at our schools healthy so that they can perform well in class.” says Mayor Gumede.
Access to clean water reduces school absenteeism because it prevents learners from getting waterborne diseases. In turn this improves their nutrition levels, as vital nutrients are not lost through diarrhea and increases children’s productivity and performance by keeping them hydrated.
After delivering and setting up the LifeStraw® units at Hluhluwe’s local Mduku clinic, the sisters and nurses in the choir sang a beautiful song of appreciation that they made up on the spot. Sister Precious Gumede commented that she was very grateful for the filter because she often had to send patients home with instructions to only take their medicine with water they had boiled, to ensure if was clean and safe.
“This [water filter] will really help us. Now we can administer the medication here at out clinic. We can also send them home with clean water in the bottles they gave us so out patients can take their pills at home” says Sister Gumede.
With the assistance of Protea Hotel, local government and local NGOs, the Aqua for life and Rotary team delivered the units to a number of primary schools in the area. Despite being the end of the school day, a number of cute, curious and wide-eyed Phumlani Primary School pupils left the playground to gather round and watch their teachers being shown how to operate and maintain their new LifeStraw® filter. Many of them were excited about the big blue water tank, even if they were too young to understand the benefits clean water would bring to their lives.
“A woman recently told of the futility she felt and still feels at the death of her daughter from brain cancer and trying to cope each day with others that she is trying to help… So when we look at the eyes of a child drinking that very first cup of healthy clean water, we then understand the enormity but attempts at saving lives isn’t all futile; we are driven to stop senseless death from a lack of basic right to clean water in communities… somehow one cup and one child at a time!” says Germishuizen.
According to a UNICEF and World Health Organization Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhea.
In Kenya high-volume LifeStraw® Community water purifiers have already provided more than 23 million liters of safe water a year and now to over 125,000 school children in the country’s western province through the “FOLLOW THE LITRES” project. Hluhluwi is the first time that a rural community rollout of this nature of LifeStraw® units has occurred in South Africa.
LifeStraw® is being imported through Aqua4Life from Swiss-based company Verstergaard Frandsen. Upon purchase of any LifeStraw® product, Vestergaard guarantees that it provides clean water for a child in Africa for the period of one year through their humanitarian Social Responsibility program – FOLLOW THE LITRES.
For more information on LifeStraw go to:
On Thursday 30th October 2014, Western Cape medical specialists and experts in the hospital design, construction and management industries celebrated the opening of the new Paardevlei Specialist Medical Centre in Somerset West.
LifeStraw was a proud participent in the prestigeous launch event.
(Cape Town, November 2014) Aqua4Life, distributors of the award-winning LifeStraw® water filtration products throughout Southern Africa, have recently signed sponsorship for the Masiphumelele Rugby Club (Masi Pumas 7s) with their kick off games at the Villagers Sevens Rugby tournament on Friday 31st October and Saturday 1 November, 2014.
Masi RFC, originally having developed from a team competing in the Khayelitsha league with no home venue to facilitate training, now resides at the Noordhoek sports grounds in the South Peninsula, offering a club for which all communities can partake. Aqua4Life, has provided team rugby jerseys and admission for the league to participate in the Villagers Rugby Super 7’s Tournament.
Further to their recently established alignment with Masi, Aqua4Life’s mission is to improve the quality of life in ALL impoverished areas, or areas with little or no access to clean drinking water. LifeStraw® filters out bacteria, viruses, protozoa parasites and turbidity, making water safe to drink and therewith facilitating communities with a basic tool for survival. For each LifeStraw unit purchased through retail a child in Southern Africa receives clean drinking water for an entire school year. This initiative is facilitated both through the Swiss holding company, Vestagaard, and further driven by Aqua4Life’s CSR activations.
“Through Aqua4Life we have a solid platform to assist the community by getting clean, safe drinking water to those who need it most. For a community to thrive, however, it is also important to boost the morale of the younger generation particularly, identifying and driving talent and skills development. It is with great enthusiasm that we take on the sponsorship of the Masi Pumas 7s, a team revelled in tenacity and team spirit!” Says Aqua4Life MD.
Upcoming Aqua4Life activations include an installation of LifeStraw® water filters to the disadvantaged communities surrounding Hluhluwe in the Northern KZN. With the partnerships of Rotary International, Relate and Protea Hotels up to 19 sites within a 10km radius of Hluhluwe will be equipped with LifeStraw® for clean drinking water. These establishments include crèches, schools and clinics.
As the sun set on the glistening waters of Camps Bay, and the rain began to splash down lightly on the moonlit promenade, the scene was set for the launch of what is to be a game changer on the shores of Africa’s Southern continent.
Distribution company, Aqua4Life, launched the multi-award winning international water filtration range of products called LifeStraw® on Thursday 26 June, 2014 at the super stylish Le Roi Beach Club in Camps Bay.
Swiss-based company Verstergaard, the producers of LifeStraw®, together with Aqua4Life are committed to improving the health of vulnerable people. The product will be disseminated throughout Southern Africa, including RSA, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Transkei and Swaziland, via both humanitarian and retail channels. Upon purchase of any LifeStraw® product, Vestergaard contributes clean water for a child in Africa for the period of one year through their humanitarian Social Responsibility program. Other Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives are also being implemented by Aqua4Life throughout these regions – getting clean water to those who need it most.
The launch hosted a number of familiar celebrated faces, all showing their water warrior support for the welfare of fellow Africans. Special guests included Natalie Becker, Tracey Lange, Karisa Nicholls, Jasna Zellerhoff and Denzil Jacobs to name a few.
“It was great to see such fantastic support from some of the opinion leaders and social influencers of our nation. Hopefully we will soon yield a strong force of Water Warriors to take on the water crisis our land suffers under, and spearhead the LifeStraw® water revolution” Says LifeStraw® MD, Nico Germishuizen.
With delicious Le Roi cocktails and tasty treats catered by Mediterranean Delicacies the evening formed a perfect backdrop for the exciting introduction to the launch of LifeStraw®. The product will be available for purchase online via aqua4life.net and shall soon be stocked in Wellness Warehouse stores across the country.
AQUA4LIFE held their first Golf in April 2014. The event was a major success and it also served to inform people more about the LifeStraw product range and the AQUA4LIFE company.