Scottish beer company Brewgooder has invested £50k to improve Coronavirus infrastructure for more than 90,000 people in Malawi.
Malawi’s ability to combat COVID-19 is set to improve thanks to Scottish craft brewer Brewgooder, who began work on two major clean water projects in one of the world’s poorest countries.
More than 90,000 people in Thyolo and Dedza, township districts in the south and central regions of Malawi, are set to benefit from a £50,000 investment by Brewgooder, just months after the UK Government cut its foreign aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP.
The largest investment will go towards solar-powered water supply systems which will provide safe water for two regional healthcare facilities in Nanseta and Mbawera.
The projects will unlock 3.94 million litres of water annually for primary healthcare across both facilities and train 60 frontline healthcare workers to help educate the population on how to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The work will be carried out in partnership with Brewgooder’s long-term partner, the One Foundation.
This project will bring the social enterprise’s overall clean water impact to more than 155,000 people across Malawi and Rwanda.
Alan Mahon, Brewgooder’s co-founder, said: “We know first-hand how challenging this pandemic has been in the UK, but we can’t abandon developing countries and let them fight it on their own.
"The pandemic should have taught everyone how truly interconnected we are.
“Although we’ve pivoted during the pandemic to be able to provide support to people in the UK who are affected, our core mission is to provide clean water to those in need.
"We’re proud to be able to put clean water right at the heart of the battle against coronavirus in Malawi.
“Not only will these projects support primary healthcare for years to come, they will also empower and better equip these communities to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“The NHS recently advised that clean water is second only to vaccination when it comes to public health during the pandemic, and this virus doesn’t respect borders.
"Although we face huge challenges at home, it’s dangerous for the UK Government to shirk its responsibility as a global citizen.
"Those most impacted by climate change are those least able to fight it. Developing communities face huge challenges, the biggest being Covid, climate and lack of clean water.
"It is our duty to help. As a purpose-driven brand, we’ve made that our mission. We hope that with COP26 coming to Glasgow later this year, it can be a real turning point that causes more politicians, companies and consumers to wake up to their responsibilities."
Funding for the projects was raised through the Global Gathering, a 250-strong global brewery collaboration programme launched by Brewgooder in 2020, which was severely disrupted by the first national lockdown in March last year.
Alan added: “This impact has been made possible because the global craft beer community took responsibility and was incredibly generous during the worst possible circumstances.
"The real heroes here are the hundreds of brewers around the world who provided their voices, their beers and their fundraising to our campaign.”
Nikki Armstrong, Corporate Partnerships Manager at The One Foundation, said: "As Covid-19 continues to impact all around the world, WASH remains at the forefront of the global community’s response.
"Safe water, sanitation, and hygienic conditions are essential to protecting human health during outbreaks of infectious diseases.
"Yet millions of people across Africa – including in countries that were already facing humanitarian crises because of conflict, natural disasters or climate change – still lack access to clean water and basic sanitation services.
“In a year which has been an extraordinary challenge for so many people, businesses and organisations, The One Foundation are extremely grateful to Brewgooder for their continued support and for helping us to fund this vital work to help thousands of people to protect themselves against this deadly virus."
Last year, Brewgooder responded to the pandemic by crowdfunding more than 28,000 beers and messages of support for frontline NHS workers.
They also raised more than £5000 for a hardship fund for actors through their Jack and the Beer Hops Christmas panto in a box.