Corinne has been a Goodwill Ambassador for Pump Aid since 2007. She is very passionate about the issues of water and sanitation and has spoken in the media about why she is helping to raise the awareness about the work of Pump Aid and the obstacles people are facing without access to water and sanitation.
Corinne visited a Pump Aid project in Malawi in 2007. She spent time with the Pump Aid team assisting them and the community in building an Elephant Toilet. She also met members of the community whom Pump Aid has worked with, hearing about the issues that they face and how technologies such as the Elephant Pump and Elephant Toilet have improved their health, hygiene and living conditions for the better.
Corinne has already helped Pump Aid through her endorsement of Thirsty Planet, and continues to make an effort to raise the awareness on the issues of water and sanitation. To highlight World Water Day she took part in the 20 litre challenge – getting through a day using no more than 20 litres of water which is the quantity millions of Africans survive on each day. Corrine commented to the Yorkshire Evening Post:
I thought it was going to be easy but it turned out to be difficult in terms of how much you take for granted the fact that we have access to clean running water.
Thirsty Planet launched on 22 March 2007, World Water Day, and with the support of Corinne’s great work, and Pump Aid’s ambition, they have managed to reach thousands of people who were once living with unsafe water supplies, and provide sustainable access to clean water.
Corinne continues to be a fantastic supporter and Ambassador of Pump Aid’s works. Speaking to The Times newspaper in March 2010:
I hooked up with Pump Aid, which helps villages dig wells so the women – its always the women – don’t have to walk miles to get water. It’s not only tiring, but often dangerous. In some parts of the world, there are many sexual assaults on women and girls as they leave the village. It was quite an eye opener going to these rural villages. I could hardly lift the buckets the girls used when they were full; I thought my neck was going to snap. I know it is a terrible cliche and patronising to say they were poor but happy, but they certainly had something we have lost, the way they look after each other.
Jack McConnell, Rt Hon Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
Pump Aid and Lord Jack McConnell, the youngest and longest serving First Minister of Scotland were introduced to each other in 2009. We have formed a strong relationship that has taken Lord McConnell over to Malawi to visit Pump Aid projects and experience first-hand the significant achievements of Pump Aid.
Lord McConnell visited many of Pump Aid’s rural projects, met the people who have benefited from Pump Aid’s presence and saw the community spirit that has developed through their work. Improved health, greater hygiene awareness, increased school participation and access to clean sustainable water are just some of the reasons why Lord McConnell saw something special in Pump Aid.
Lord McConnell was the Prime Minister’s Special Representative to Peace-building 2008-2010 and his work now concentrates on conflict, development and opportunities for vulnerable young people.
Pump Aid is such a special charity, I was inspired when I visited their projects in Malawi, and pleased to see that one charity can deliver on so many levels. Access to clean water and sanitation is life changing. It improves health and hygiene, prevents the spread of disease and gives communities the independence they need to bring themselves out of the poverty cycle.
As Pump Aid Ambassador, I am honoured to be representing such a dynamic, fresh and engaging organisation and I hope they will achieve more support for their activities to allow expansion into more communities.
Dr David Lloyd-Owen
Dr Lloyd-Owen is Managing Director of Envisager, a strategic consultancy advising governments, multilateral institutions, financiers and companies on water and wastewater market, policy, regulatory, environmental and management, following the water sector for 23 years, previously at BNP Paribas and Ecofin Limited. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Pictet Funds Water Fund and XPV Capital’s Water Fund and is advisor to the Board of Bluewater Bio. He read Environmental Biology at Liverpool and has a DPhil in Applied Ecology from Oxford and is a Chartered Environmentalist (MIEEM, CEnv) and Geographer (FRGS, CGeog).
David has written six books on water finance, markets and management including the ‘Pinsent Masons Water Yearbook’ (13th edition, 2011) along with a monthly column for Global Water Intelligence. ‘The sound of thirst: Why urban water for all is essential, achievable and affordable’ will be published by Parthian Books in June 2012. Specific areas of expertise include water finance, environmental regulation, the role of the private sector in service provision and corporate strategy.
I am very pleased to become an ambassador for Pump Aid. They are doers rather than talkers and the way they have deployed the Elephant Pump is a role model for delivering safe water and sanitation in rural sub-Saharan Africa. What impresses me most is that the pump has been designed with local needs and capacity building in mind, something that can be manufactured and maintained locally rather than a shiny, fragile import which can fall into disrepair. This means they provide livelihoods as well as water.