Africare News Release Release


Africare and The Links' Reston Chapter Partner to Bring New Water Project to Zimbabwe

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 2, 2007— His Excellency Dr. Machivenyika Mapuranga, Ambassador of Zimbabwe, and staff of the Embassy of Zimbabwe will be honored guests at a special reception to launch a Treadle Pump Water Irrigation Pilot Project in Zimbabwe co-sponsored by Africare and the Reston Chapter of The Links, Inc. The reception will be on Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, at Africare House in Washington, D.C.

The treadle pump is a foot-operated water-lifting device. The pump has a maximum suction depth of 3 meters and can lift water to 5 meters above the ground. Two-and-a-half liters of water can be pumped per stroke and the pump can yield 1,000 liters of water per hour. Each treadle pump will yield significant benefits to the Zimbabwean small farmers who receive them, by enabling them to raise better crops and to improve the nutritional and economic status of 10 households or as many as 500 beneficiaries. The economic impact of the treadle pump technology varies across households and regions, but $100 per year is a conservative estimate of the average increase in the annual income of each household or farmer.

"In addition, the pump is easily operated by women and has brought an improvement in the lives of women by enabling them to increase household food security and nutritional variety and decreasing the labor required to fetch water, " says Brenda Irons-LeCesne, President of the Reston Chapter of The Links, Inc., a prominent civic organization of women. "We hope that our project will enable Zimbabwean women to come out of their homes to operate the treadle pumps and take pride in increasing their household food supply with their new skills," adds Veatrice Baugh, Chair of the International Trends Committee of the Reston Links.

Under an agreement with Africare, the two organizations will procure and install eight treadle pumps in Zimbabwe.

"We selected Zimbabwe for our pilot program because of the tremendous potential for increased agricultural production in the communities in which Africare is working, " says Peter Persell, Africare Regional Director for Southern Africa.

"And, we are very pleased to co-sponsor this pilot water irrigation project with the Reston Links," says Jeannine B. Scott, Senior Vice President of Africare.

The Reston Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, organized in 1975, is a leader among community service organizations in the Northern Virginia area.


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