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5 November 2007 PR 07/140

Loughborough University water scheme helping to save lives in India

Profits from the sale of bottled water at the Loughborough University campus will be ploughed into providing clean drinking water for a remote Indian village, under a new scheme launched this month.

imago, the University’s in-house catering provider and events and conference organiser, is hoping to raise thousands of pounds through its ‘Raindrops for life’ campaign. The money will be used to help people living in Chaidipura, a village situated at the foothills of the Vindhyachal Valley that is home to around 220 people.

The main source of drinking water in Chaidipura is a hand pump, which runs dry in the summer. The alternative is a stream located 2km away from the village, forcing women and children to walk long distances several times a day to collect water. Disease is also a major issue as no water is treated before drinking and water storage containers are not covered. This is made worse by the absence of toilet facilities and a poor understanding of the importance of personal hygiene.

To try and improve the quality of life for people living in Chaidipura imago has joined forces with the University’s Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) – an institute dedicated to helping improve the health and wellbeing of some of the world’s poorest people – and the National Forest Spring Water Company Ltd to raise vital funds for the village.

Together they will be supporting the ‘Chaidipura Rural Water Supply and Hygiene Promotion’ project, led by voluntary organisation Vasudha Vikas Sansthan (VVS). The project is aiming to provide clean water and improved sanitation for the village.

imago and the National Forest Spring Water Company Ltd will be giving five pence from every bottle of ‘Fuel’, 'imago' and 'Refresh' branded water sold on campus to the project. The cash raised will be used by the VVS to pay for the installation of three low cost rainwater harvesting tanks in the village, to provide training for local people on how to maintain the tanks and to promote hygiene.

Duncan Cressall, Operations Director for imago Services, said: “We are delighted that funds raised at the University will play such an important part in improving the quality of lives for the residents of Chaidipura. Such a simple thing of having clean drinking water is taken for granted in the UK but in Chaidipura it is a matter of life and death. I would urge people at the University, and visitors to the campus, to support this important initiative.”

Ian Smout, Director of WEDC, added: “WEDC has always been committed to helping people who live in extreme poverty in developing countries by working to improve access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. The global challenge is that 1.7 million children under 5 years old die every year from water related disease.

“This initiative with imago, the National Forest Spring Water Company Ltd and the VVS will make a real difference to the village of Chaidipura, ultimately saving lives by providing safe drinking water and sanitation throughout the year.”

Dave Smith, Managing Director of the National Forest Spring Water Company Ltd said: “I am pleased that we have been able join forces with the University to support this important scheme. In a country where access to clean water is not an issue it is important that we help those less fortunate than ourselves.”

The bottles of branded water are on sale in imago outlets across the campus, priced at 85 pence.

For further information about the project visit: http://campuslife.lboro.ac.uk/environment/water/

ENDS

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Notes for editors:

  1. WEDC is one of the world’s leading education and research institutes for improving access to infrastructure and services for the poor in low- and middle-income countries. It is based in the Department of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University in the UK, but works all over the world.
  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top five of UK universities in national league tables and was named winner of the 2006 THES award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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