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Foundation partners with government to get clean water to rural communities

While parts of South Africa still face water shortages, the Collen Mashawana Foundation, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, has partnered with the Department of Social Development (DSD) and AECI Water to help rural communities.

The foundation recently visited the rural Kwa-Nontshinga in Centane in Eastern Cape, in partnership with the DSD and AECI Water, a company that provides comprehensive solutions to clients in the public, industrial and mining sectors.

The visit was part of the foundation’s recently launched water program called Madi Ashu (Our Water), which helps poor communities who lack access to clean water through purified boreholes.

According to the Mashawana project, Madi Ashu has focused on providing water to communities where clean water is scarce.

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“We want to help communities – especially the elderly, people with disabilities and households with a child. We donated boreholes and water barrows.

“We will provide safe and reliable drinking water to communities in urgent need of water – in hopes of improving the health and social problems attributable to a lack of clean and safe water.

“A partnership between the state, the private sector and civil society is key in this endeavor,” said Johannesburg philanthropist and businessman Collen Mashawana.

AECI Water, he said, “joined hands with us to address various challenges in the delivery of basic services in communities.”

The foundation provides clean water to communities and pledged to build a house for a grandmother who, with eight children and three grandchildren, has a mud house without electricity and water.

“A social worker was also present during our visit and we were promised that the social worker will help to solve other problems,” Mashawana said.

The foundation has changed the lives of millions of people in South Africa for more than a decade.

This included adopting shelters and homes; providing food parcels, building hundreds of houses for the elderly, households with a child and people with disabilities.

Mashawana was behind several poverty alleviation ventures, including distributing food parcels to the needy, and the “One-Brick-At-A-Time” project.

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With the housing backlog in South Africa at a staggering 2.1 million, with an estimated 2.5 million people in urgent need of housing, Mashawana launched a campaign last year to help the homeless.

He wants to facilitate the building of 100 houses for the homeless, with members of the public contributing R2,000 to one brick, to reach the target of 5,000 bricks.

The foundation, Mashawana said, was aligned with the DSD’s integrated development and welfare programs, and had a signed partnership with the government “to help improve the lives of the poor.”

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