Begun in 2010, the Africa Trust is an AquAid founded charity that works on the principles of wealth creation and sustainable solutions to poverty.
Since our rather humble beginnings in 1998 as a home water cooler supplier, until now, as one of the UK’s leading water cooler suppliers, helping people in need has always been an integral aspect of the AquAid ethos.
Now, in our 20th year of operations, we look back at the annual milestones that evidence the successes of our commitment to charity.
2017 IN REVIEW:
The total number of beneficiaries at the start of 2017 was 2,192,435 and 209,908 new beneficiaries were added by the end of the year. A total of 683 new pumps were installed in 2017 compared to 607 in 2016. Most of these pumps were installed in Zimbabwe with five pumps built in Tanzania and one built in Kenya.
The Africa Trust’s Elephant Pump programme is having a major positive impact on the lives of over a million Zimbabweans who collect clean drinking water and water for productive use every day. Aside from 683 new pumps installed last year, the Africa Trust continues to implement sustainable wealth creation projects. Examples are an income generating farm project which now provides a sustained and growing income stream that helps towards the cost of emergency relief. A dairy project and the bananas for fees projects continue to grow with 510 new beneficiaries added.
The Africa Trust also implements wealth creation and sustainable relief projects in:
Kenya: A business skills training programme continues to grow. One such new business started under the programme (a maize mill) now employs over a dozen HIV+ widows who would otherwise have been in desperate poverty following their husbands’ deaths due to AIDS.
Liberia: Positive feedback received about the pumps and toilets installed in previous years. A school was helped to become self-sufficient by starting a project to raise ducks and chickens.
Mozambique: The ‘Baby’ Elephant Pumps installed for use by smaller family communities are doing well.
Tanzania: Elephant Pumps; Elephant Toilets; Business Skills Training.
Uganda: Business skills training; job creation; retirement planning (thus helping break the cycle of poverty).
Contact us at AquAid to find out how becoming an AquAid customer equates to ensuring sustainable solutions to poverty and the provision of safe drinking water to those who need it most.
I’ve been reading through my notes for the blogs for this week and it all became a little overwhelming. So I let my brain head out West and the rest of me went to top up on the java.
Then my brain knocked politely, ‘Coo-ee, I’m back’ it warbled.
‘What?’ the coffee-enjoying-rest of me replied. ‘You come up with anything useful out West?’
A lengthy discussion ensued ….
Anyhow, as it turns out, the brain told me it got to thinking about all the other lesser (according to it) but just as vital (according to all of them) organs that we humanoids are blessed with and guess what? ALL OF THEM need sufficient water to keep the g-g-greased lightning performance.
Kidney and Liver Function
One of the liver’s primary functions is to metabolise stored fat into energy. The kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins, wastes, ingested water and salts out of the bloodstream. If you are dehydrated, the kidneys cannot function properly and the liver must work overtime to compensate. As a result, it metabolises less fat, your metabolism slows down to conserve water, which leads to weight gain and can contribute to belly fat.*
Dehydration can cause insufficient oxygenation of the tissue of the cardiovascular system. The heart rate increases in response to the tissue oxygen deficit. Tachycardia, or a heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute, occurs. Severe dehydration can trigger irregular heart rhythms, especially in people with an underlying heart condition.*
Command Central i.e. The Brain
Brain cells require the right amount of water and minerals in each of the cells. If there is too much water, the cell’s membrane can break; if there is not enough, the cell will shrivel up. When there is brain dehydration, less water is available for brain cells to use. *
Importance of Water
Almost two-thirds of the human body is made up of water and water acts as a natural appetite suppressant. It also helps to regulate your metabolism. When you become dehydrated, your metabolism slows down, affecting how your body burns fat. Your body mistakes thirst for hunger, which leads to increased calorie consumption. This can lead to stubborn fat gathering around your stomach, which is difficult to lose.*
Bearing all of this in mind, also remember that water weight is not the same as ‘blob’ weight, so whereas you may think that because your body is retaining water it means you’re gaining weight, this is not the case. Your body is desperately trying to tell you, by retaining water, that it doesn’t have enough to function properly.
There’s no need for concern though, indeed you can celebrate and revel in the fact that throughout the UK, clean, fresh drinking water transported from source to your office, school or site is readily available from AquAid through our range of water coolers. Drink up!
* sourced from an article at Livestrong
Choosing the right water cooler or water boiler for your company is not always an easy task. Once you’ve established what your needs are, you have to shop around for a reputable supplier and then choose from a myriad of different models and plans. It’s a long-term investment and can seem costly, which is why when choosing between suppliers, people sometimes tend towards the cheaper option, thinking they’ll save money in the long run, but what so many forget is the service element and how that can incur unnecessary costs and lost productivity over time, particularly when a machine breaks down or your office runs out of water.
Imagine the following scenario: an employee discovers the water cooler is broken and spends a few minutes trying to figure out what’s wrong; eventually they realise there’s nothing they can do, so they report it to the office manager – 10 minutes wasted. In the interim, other staff members attempt to use the water cooler only to be disappointed; they then spend a few minutes complaining amongst themselves and struggling to get back to whatever tasks they were busy with – 10 minutes wasted. The office manager puts a call through to the supplier – if it’s a national call centre, research shows that we can spend upwards of 27 minutes on hold waiting for someone to address our problem – 27 minutes wasted. Once the office manager finally reaches the right person who can deal with their issue, they then spend more precious time explaining what’s wrong and why they require a call out – 5 minutes wasted.
If you ever want to know what constitutes bad service, spend some time reading through any of the review aggregators online – it may take days before someone can come out to repair your machine, and if the supplier runs an inefficient service where miscommunication runs rife, it may take more than one visit before your water dispenser is fully functional again. Let’s assume, conservatively, that it takes three days before your water cooler is up and running again. During that time, frustrated employees will spend time querying the progress of the repair and even more time complaining about their lack of access to water – over those three days, there will be at least 60 minutes wasted. Not only will they waste time complaining, but studies show that their general unhappiness will further impact their productivity, so even when they’re not specifically querying or complaining, their efficiency will still be affected.
With a bad supplier, each step along the way is wasted time, lost productivity and eventually lost revenue. If we add together all that lost time, it comes to a total of 112 minutes wasted and if we want to allocate a monetary value to that loss, we can work on the average wage in the UK of £13.94 per hour or 23 pence per minute – which means your company has wasted £25.76 thanks to a bad supplier.
By contrast, when you use a leading water cooler supplier like AquAid, you can rest assured that excellent service and customer satisfaction are of paramount importance. AquAid may be nationwide, but they don’t have call centres; each office has its own administration and delivery department which means your call goes directly where it needs to, and if the above scenario was to happen, they would provide a quick and efficient turnaround that would have you back online in typically 24 hours. AquAid customers spend on average £30 per month or £360 per annum. When shopping around for reputable water cooler suppliers, people will often choose the least expensive option allowing a saving of 5% or in this case £18 per year to sway them, but as becomes evident over time and in the scenario above, that saving is quickly lost to bad service. While AquAid may seem slightly more expensive than some of the entry-level water cooler suppliers, their efficiency and attention to detail will ultimately save you time and money in the long run – unlike a bad supplier, which could end up costing you far more than you’d envisaged.