Pump Aid is thrilled to be shortlisted for the second time in five years for the Charity Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious recognition scheme in the sector.
Matthew Nolan, chief executive of Civil Society Media, which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated Pump Aid on making the highly-coveted shortlist. He said:
“The breadth and quality of the work being done by charities across the UK continues to astonish. Pump Aid should be very proud to have made the shortlist.”
The Charity Awards panel of judges selected Pump Aid for the International Aid & Development category for its innovative water entrepreneur scheme in Malawi, Africa. This initiative creates sustainable access to safe water for rural communities in the country, by turning budding entrepreneurs into skilled and qualified pump mechanics. Pump Aid is building a network of small businesses who can make a living from keeping safe water running for their local communities, simultaneously stimulating the local economy and providing water access.
Area mechanics like Esther are working to repair each non-functional pump in their area, and regularly service them so they don’t break again. By creating water entrepreneurs, Pump Aid is supporting Malawians to end water poverty in Malawi, one pump at a time. Discussing her new venture as a mechanic, Esther said:
“I was very happy to be selected as an area mechanic representing my community and surrounding villages because this will give me an opportunity to be independent as a woman and as the saying goes, water is life.”
The Covid-19 crisis prompted the charity to accelerate this initiative, as preventative measures such as good hygiene and regular handwashing was and remains critical in limiting the spread. Pump Aid identified rural communities whose local water point was in need of repair, and supported the communities in funding these repairs. This work introduced villages to the pump mechanic, and many can now call on them to come and service a pump to make sure it does not break down again.
As the initiative has grown, so has the reach. Pump Aid is now recognised by governmental officials for its work with rural water access, and the charity is now able to facilitate service contracts between the pump mechanics and the local District Water Office.
Charity Awards judge Ruth Davison praised this initiative, saying that Pump Aid’s entry was commercially sustainable with good engagement at different levels of local governance and a high degree of local ownership, “far more than we often see from INGOs”.
Pump Aid is thrilled to be recognised again by the Charity Awards after winning the International Aid & Development category in 2017. They extend their thanks to all their supporters for making their work possible, and look forward to continuing to grow their customer-focussed approach throughout Malawi and beyond.