North Devon's generosity transforms lives of 14,500 Ugandans with clean water

Thousands of people in some of the poorest communities in Africa are now enjoying fresh clean water thanks to a generous match funding offer from a North Devon business.

Last year, Philip J Milton & Company Plc offered to match half the £4,900 cost of five water boreholes for a life-saving project by Barnstaple-based charity Amigos Worldwide.

The appeal went out for local businesses or individuals to match the other half of the funds for each boreholes – and the response was amazing, with the money raised incredibly quickly.

Now all five boreholes are installed and up and running in poor communities in rural Uganda, the country the charity focuses on.

The aim of Amigos is to give people living in poverty a ‘hand up, not a hand out’ so they can lift themselves out of poverty through education and work opportunities.

This includes helping people set up their own businesses and initiatives such as the charity’s successful Kira Farm, which teaches students a variety of vocational and farming skills.

Clean and safe water free from disease and within easy access is hard to come by in many parts of Africa – without it, communities cannot thrive and women and children have to spend hours every day trekking to fetch water before they can even consider work or schooling.

Tim Monger, CEO of Amigos, thanked the people of North Devon for their support in making the five water boreholes a reality.

He said: “A massive thank you to Philip J Milton & Company Plc for their generosity. The total number of people served by these boreholes is more than 14,500 and this has given so many people the opportunity to go on and develop their lives.

“A big, big thank you too to all the generous donors who came forward to make this possible.”

Tim added: “The biggest difference this will make is to women and girls. The length of time they have to spend on collecting water is a huge thing. If they have to travel after dark it can be dangerous for them plus it means they can devote more of their time to income-making activities, it becomes a springboard to other things.”

Philip Milton praised the others who had come forward so quickly to meet the borehole funding target.

He added: “As inconceivable as it seems to those of us in this country, there are people in Africa who still have to walk many miles every day just for the most basic staple of survival.

“As a company we have supported Amigos since it all began and each year we sponsor a student through their studies at Kira Farm, but these boreholes really are vital and make a huge difference to peoples’ lives.”

You can find out more about Amigos Worldwide and how you can get involved or make a donation, at www.amigos.org.uk.