ABC Trade & Investments Healthcare Division provides clean drinking water to villages and communities
Every year, World Water Day, which falls on 22 March, attempts to create awareness and inspire action in trying to tackle the prevailing water crisis. According to the World Health Organization, 2017 saw over 663 million people living without a safe supply of drinking water close to home. Sri Lanka in particular is no stranger to the crisis. In 2014, nearly 55% of Sri Lankans relied on shallow and deep wells and streams for drinking water.
Research goes on to show that the prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu) is approximately 15.1–22.9% in some districts. Providing solutions to villages and communities, ABC Trade & Investments have been able to reach over 10,000 households so far as part of their commitment towards fulfilling Sustainable Development Goals in ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030.
The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century. According to the official United Nations World Water Day initiative, damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Today approximately, 2.1 billion people of the 7.6 billion, live without access to safe drinking water at home. The lack of access in turn affects their health, education and livelihoods.
“One of the main problem in Sri Lanka is the lack of awareness in proper filtration systems and non access to clean drinking water, there has been a steady rise in water related disease, kidney related diseases particularly CKDu. Our mission is to reach out to as many villages, towns and cities as possible and create a decentralized system that will ensure access to clean drinking water,” said ABC Trade and Investments CEO Amalrajah Jayaseelan.
The National Water Supply and Drainage Board has been an imperative partner recommending and supporting the initiatives of ABC Trade & Investments and making their projects a reality. With funding from individuals such as Scott Walker, an Australian donor who has extended his financial support to over 80 village water purification projects in Sri Lanka, and with like-minded individuals and organization of local and international and have made a significant impact in providing clean and safe drinking water to over 200 villages as a CSR initiative.
It’s time for Sri Lanka to step up and take initiative in providing access to clean drinking water. Those who suffer the most, unfortunately belong to rural communities, which is also a significant amount of our population. Without access to proper infrastructure, clean water, sanitation and medical facilities, the primary victim, usually 30-60 year old farmers, also lose out on their principal and sometimes only means of livelihood, agriculture.
ABC Trade & Investments Ltd., was incorporated in 1997, is focused in the business area if ICT, healthcare, water purification, printing, renewable energy, lighting and is a recognized member of the Sri Lanka Computer Vendors Association and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka. ABC Trade & Investments Ltd., Healthcare Division is in the water purification business for the past few years with an installation base of over 5000+ water purification equipment ranging from Domestic solutions to community based RO plants and custom designed water purification solution to Government, Commercial and private sector organizations and expanding its scope to waste water management and waste water treatment.
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Australian Philanthropist Sponsors Water Purification for 100 Villages working with ABC T & I
We often hear of benefactors doing great things and yielding results that combined organisations have not had the ability to do. However, it’s uncommon to find such benefactors who prefer to remain in the sidelines of media attention and continue their work unknown to most. One such benefactor is Scott Walker, a successful businessman and entrepreneur from Australia who first visited in 2010 and has been involved in many charitable activities since then.
Like most good things, Walker’s introduction to Sri Lanka also happened by chance. He was en route from Australia to England on a ship when they docked on the island for a day. It was then Walker first visited the Colombo and Mount Lavinia areas and felt a strong sense of attachment and was convinced that he was “Sri Lankan in a past life!”
Explaining on his philanthropic activities in the country, Walker said, “My work first started with funding three orphanages in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Badulla where children learn English thrice a week. I then provided funds for the maintenance of CCC Foundation’s CCC House project, a 190-bed transit home for cancer patients in Maharagama. On one of my visits, I was returning to Australia and read about the kidney disease problems in Sri Lanka and coincidentally, the Moorooka Lions Club was conducting an appeal to raise funds to install a Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant in two villages in Anuradhapura, for which I made a contribution. As a result of this experience, I joined Bill Deutrom, Chairman of the Federation of Sri Lankan Organisations of Queensland and Amalrajah Jayaseelan, Managing Director of ABC Trade and Investments, to provide 100 villages with RO plants.”
The 100 village project required a reputable company to provide and install the RO plants and also ensure the maintenance of the equipment. Walker reached out to ABC Trade and Investments and a successful partnership was formed. The company created a programme in consultation with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board to identify the most deserving rural villages with high density ofCKDu(chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology) patients, and also train villagers in the area in all aspects of maintaining these RO plants, thereby also creating a sense of responsibility and ownership among them.
While water purification has been one of the main areas that Walker contributedwith over 100 million rupees, he has also done some work with the Foundation of Goodness and their Village Heartbeat project in Jaffna that provides locals English lessons, IT training, women’s empowerment programmes, vocational training and more.
On occasion, Walker also steps in during at the time of natural disasters. One such time was during the Mutwal floods from a few years ago where he contributed towards the re-establishment of an area by providing essential food, replacing household furniture and by providing school books and bags for children.
Mr Walker will continue his philanthropic work in Sri Lanka. He has grown to love the people, the culture and the beauty of the country and hopes that his contribution to Sri Lanka will make it a better place for those he has helped.
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