Atlas Copco plays key role in Malawi water project

Atlas Copco’s Water for All project in Malawi will bring water to 28 000 locals.

By: Kelly-Ann Prinsloo

Water for All and Atlas Copco bring water to 28 000 Malawians

Atlas Copco, a leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions, will play a key role in bringing clean water to a rural area of Malawi through its employee-driven Water for All organisation and the Peter Wallenberg Water for All Fund.

Water for All, which commenced in October this year, will finance the installation of infrastructure and facilities that promote clean water, sanitation and hygiene in Malawi.

Malawi is a small, densely populated country in south-eastern Africa. It is bordered by Tanzania to the north, Zambia to the west, and Mozambique to the east and south. The majority of the country's 15 million residents live in rural areas, while the urban population is concentrated in Lilongwe and Blantyre, the two largest cities.

About 50% of Malawians live below the national poverty line and access to vital services like water and sanitation is not as easy as it should be.

The project, which is expected to benefit some 28 000 locals in approximately a dozen villages and rural communities situated in the south-eastern region of the country, is financed through donations to the Peter Wallenberg Water for All Fund, of which Atlas Copco is one of the larger contributors.

Water for All is Atlas Copco’s primary community engagement initiative. It was founded by Atlas Copco employees in Sweden 31 years ago, in 1984. The mission of this non-profit, employee-run organisation is to provide people in need with long-term access to potable water.

Today, Water for All has representation in more than 40 countries and supports sustainable development projects all over the world. Through voluntary donations boosted by the Atlas Copco Group, this organisation has provided clean drinking water to more than 1,5 million people around the world, and counting.

The Malawi project was made possible thanks to Atlas Copco employees’ 2014 global collection in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Water for All.

Kgothatso Ntsie, Atlas Copco South Africa’s corporate communications manager for South and sub-Saharan Africa, said, “Our local Water for All initiative, which was started in 2009, has provided clean water for disadvantaged communities in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, thanks to the generous support of approximately 15% of our employees,”.

In line with Atlas Copco’s local community support mantra, Atlas Copco South Africa also funds a number of sustainable community projects and non-governmental organisations, including St. Francis, Cotlands and Siyazi Gabisa. “Excellent initiatives such as Nelson Mandela Day and Cancer month are firmly etched in our community drive diary and are strongly supported by our employees,” Ntsie added.

The Malawi project was chosen because of the previous work done by Water for All in the area, which has produced good results. Malawi is also part of the region Peter Wallenberg Sr. was active in when he worked for Atlas Copco in Africa. The project, completed in cooperation with non-profit organisation ADRA, is expected to be completed by October 2018.

“Atlas Copco is delighted that the many contributions made to the Peter Wallenberg Water for All Fund will be turned into true life-changing benefits for thousands of people in Malawi,” said Ronnie Leten, Atlas Copco’s president and chief executive officer (CEO).