A year ago, the one millionth UK-built Land Rover Discovery set out on the most ambitious fundraising project the all-terrain vehicle manufacturer had ever undertaken. After 50 days and 10,000 gruelling miles, £1million had been collected to support a sustainable water and sanitation programme in Uganda.
That money is being spent as part of a water and sanitation programme overseen by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) - Land Rover's Global Humanitarian Partner since 2007.
Mark Cameron, Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director, said: "One year on from our fundraising expedition, it's fantastic to see how the money is being spent on the ground and how it's making a genuine difference to people. These projects will undoubtedly save many lives in Uganda."
IFRC is working with the Uganda Red Cross which has an established structure of 51 branches and a network of volunteers at grass roots level.
In the targeted Ugandan communities - the three-year project aims to increase clean water coverage by 15%, increase access to improved sanitation and hygienic practices and to establish a community-based approach to management of water supply, sanitation and environmental health.
Vulnerable rural populations in Uganda engage in a daily struggle against health risks caused by inadequate access to clean water and sanitation. It's the most common and preventable underlying cause of disease in the world today and Uganda is one of the countries worst affected. The aim is to reduce the incidence of hygiene-related diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea.
Since the Land Rover-funded project started in June 2012, the programme has achieved a number of key successes. Twenty-three groups of volunteers have been identified and trained, Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Education (PHASE) training has been set up with teachers in local schools, seven new boreholes have been drilled and 7,500 information brochures and stickers have been distributed.
The project has also seen hygiene promotion messages broadcast on local radio and new equipment has been provided to assist the project, including transportation, computers and office furniture.
World Water Day, held annually on March 22, was established by the United Nations in 1993 to focus international attention on the importance of fresh water and advocating the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Joelle Tanguy, Under Secretary General of Humanitarian Values and Diplomacy, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said: "Access to safe water and improved sanitation is vital to improving healthy living for the vulnerable people we serve. Reaching the £1million target was an incredible achievement and we are grateful for the support of Land Rover and everyone who realised this ambitious challenge. One year on, thanks to this support, the project in Uganda is under way and already starting to make an impact on local communities."
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