Local pump distributor Xylem, in partner- ship with South African water and san- itation nongovernmental organisation Mvula Trust, has donated 378 borehole and other pumps, worth some R400 000, to ensure the reliable provision of potable domestic water for the rural Setumong community, in Limpopo.
In addition to the initial pump provision, the company plans to roll out an ongoing community upliftment initiative that will incorporate education, training and enterprise development programmes within the water and sanitation sector.
“A key element of this initiative is the training of local community members in the tending and maintenance of the donated pumps to ensure long-term sustainability and provide the transfer of marketable skills,” explains Xylem sales manager Darryl MacDougall.
To expedite the donation process, Xylem partnered with Mvula Trust, which was established by several international donor organisations in 1993 as a vehicle for the development of reliable and safe water supplies for low- income communities.
The trust is tasked with linking needy communities with funding prospects, while working with municipalities to ensure that any contribution is implemented and maintained in accordance with national plans.
“Considering most municipalities’ shoestring budget and endemic backlog of water issues, Xylem’s contribution of pumps and technical support is particularly valuable,” says Mvula Trust business integration and regional support director Goodenough Molefe.
Setumong community project coordinator Lucky Maleka adds that most urban dwellers are unaware of the severity of potable water inaccessibility in rural South Africa and notes that the donation will contribute significantly to health security in these regions.
“Recently, a number of communities in Limpopo have been advised that underground water sources have been depleted, with some communities having no access to clean water at all. This has caused the deaths of at least four people,” he says.
He adds that the most vital element of Xylem’s donation is the promise of continued technical support.
“The transfer of this technical know-how will enable long-term value to be drawn from the pumps. Moreover, theft is rife when it comes to these machines and the community members will organise themselves to protect them. On behalf of the communities, we thank Xylem for these gifts,” he says.
Xylem has been active throughout Southern Africa since 1957 through geographically exclusive distributors and, in May 1996, estab- lished a wholly owned subsidiary in Johannesburg to establish a direct presence in the region.
The company boasts the largest submersible rental fleet in Africa, with over 600 units, and offers a diverse rental-pump range encompassing potable, sewerage and slurry pumps across four voltage ranges, together with dredging, mixing and turnkey solutions.
Xylem South Africa is responsible for servicing several market territories on the continent, including Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.