Sunshine, creeks, camels and pupils back from school will, more often than not, conjure up all pleasant scenarios in the mind’s eye of people on other parts of the world. Indeed, what lively idyllic scenery will they be able to make up. However, in some areas in Africa, especially Ethiopia, these elements may have an ugly twist: just here, as summer is setting in, the weather is becoming hotter and hotter, and rivers are turning turbid, smelling terribly. Crowding against each other on drying-up creeks, thirsty camels and pupils scramble for dwindling sources of water. Really creepy! All the pleasantness loses its identity to a sad moment at once just before you......
According to statistics from the WHO and the United Nations, safe drinking water isn’t available to at least 750 million people across the globe, including 340 million in Africa. Here, 66% of this continent suffers under a chronically dry weather, nearly 30% of its locals have no access to clean water, and as a result, deadly waterborne diseases, such as typhoid and cholera, are a commonplace among children. A United Nations Children's Fund's report shows that approximately 1.8 million children die each year from diarrhoea – What a heartbreaking rate of deaths!.
Besides being firmly committed to its Golden Principle of Offering Products of Higher Duration & Leading Technology, XCMG, the leader in the Chinese construction machinery industry, is also an enterprise with a strong sense of social responsibilities, having stayed true to its dream of being a valuable, responsible and caring enterprise on the global stage, and having to this end striven to contribute to a better world.
In 2016, XCMG launched the drinking water cellar project in Ethiopia, one of its 14 global public welfare programs and the first-ever of its kinds amid the African assistance initiative from the construction machinery industry.
On Nov. 27, 2018, the African Drinking Water Cellar Project developed formally into its third phase, when XCMG, together with its 26 strategic suppliers, donated RMB 4.43 million in total for building drinking water cellars for 40 households and 40 schools in drought-stricken areas across the poor African country to mitigate the severe unavailability of clean drinking water to locals.
At the groundbreaking ceremony of the Phase-III project, representatives from both Chinese and local businesses opened the "Source of Clean Drinking Water", and briefed spectators and news reporters on the public welfare significance of the great undertaking, marking the advent of a promising future to local communities. Present at the event included Mr. Lu chuan, President of Machinery & Deputy Party Secretary of XCMG; Mr. Chen Hongtao, Executive Vice Secretary-general of China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation; Mr. Han Bing, Deputy General Manager of XCMG; Mr. Xu Xiaohui, Assistant General Manager of XCMG; Mr. Abiy, XCMG Ethiopian Dealer; Mr. Valery Shapochkin, Director of Global Off-road Business of Cummins; Mr. Steven Zhou Shiping, President of Danfoss Power Solutions-China; Mr. Li Jin, Party Secretary of Shanghai Diesel Engine Company; and Mr. Liu Chengxiang, Deputy General Manager of Sinopec Shanghai Division.
With the help of CFPA, XCMG has expanded the project in the past 2.5 years from the first pump-fed water cellar in 2016 at the Odanebe public primary school to 80 cellars for households in 7 villages in 2018, having benefited more than 6,700 residents and pupils. Not only does the crystal-clear water being drown out of these cellars reflect the firm committment and strong accountability of XCMG folks, but also demonstrates XCMG's vision and aspiration for a better life.
During his recent field surveys in Ethiopia, Mr. Wang Min, XCMG Chairman, asserted to the locals that XCMG will go on with the project to benefit more residents and students in Africa."
XCMG enhanced its global strategy of corporate social responsibilities in 2018: going beyond existing financial assistance to contributing to shift toward a sustainable growth of local communities, beyond its own donations to calling for concerted efforts from all its partners throughout its value chain, and beyond exclusive focus on asisstance performance to a broader one on overall development performance, so as to make XCMG's public welfare undertakings more diversified, more self-driven and more sustainable.
Mrs. Han Bing, Vice General Manager, said: as an advocate and practitioner of Contributing to a Better World, XCMG has always attached great importance to essential needs, focusing on tackling practical social issues, and has always given the priority to solving global eco-friendly and sustainable development problems.
In October 2018, the fact-finding mission of the African Water Cellar Phase-III Project reached out to public elementary schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's Capital, and found, to their shock, that about 150 out of 230 public elementary schools here have no sustained supply of clean drinking water, leading to higher occurrence rates of waterborne deceases and dropouts. Ninety percent of the pupils reportedly drank less than 500 milliliters of water a day, and only two percent have access to washing soaps.
These seemingly impossible figures are among facts staring at us. To tackling this glaring issue, XCMG decided to extend the first two phases to build practical household cellars for villagers in dry areas in the third phase, and to provide water storeage facilities to some 40 schools accessible to water supply, including carbon fiber buckets, VZN purifiers, water pools and handwashing sinks, sastifying the needs for daily drinking water from 1,000 pupils and cooking and hygiene water in schools.
Mr. Xu Xiaohui, Assistant General Manager, said on the site: Just as a Chinese proverb puts it, the art of fishing is more helpful than the catch. Besides tackling the plight of no water supply for local kids and residents, more importantly, the Project helps kids develop a healthy habit of safely drinking and using water and preventing against diseases, and has villagers get the skills of building and maintaining water cellars, and enhancing levels and quality of their life.
The Phase-III Project will focus on soft skills and services, such as healthy drinking water training sessions, provision and use of water purification tablets, lectures to students and villagers on the importance of maintaining personal and environmental hygiene, right ways of washing hands, methods of prevention and treatment of common water-borne diseases (including diarrhea, dysentery, etc), so as to develop their habit of safely drinking water and help them really live a healthy life.
Mr. Chen Hongtao, CFPA’s Deputy Secretary-general, told reporters: XCMG is his organization’s first corporate member of offering donations to Ethiopia. In addition to its impressive track records in charitable undertakings in Africa, it is also the first corporate entity to reshape its public welfare projects into a sustainable development pursuit. Its Drinking Water Cellar Project is not only solving a practical problem for Ethiopian residents, but also has established a successful paradigm for Chinese enterprises advancing their public welfare causes in Ethiopia and beyond.
Through this 3-year pioneering project in Ethiopia, XCMG is committed to blazing an effective public welfare trail suitable for local residents. Meanwhile, XCMG is also leveraging its own advantages in carrying out similar projects to make the world a better place for all the people.