For Christmas 2013, NCC donated a million kronor to Unicef, the children's rights organisation. The money financed the purchase of 60 sturdy, manual water pumps from the French company Vergnet Hydro, which has specialised in pump systems for drinking water in developing countries.
Clean water is now flowing from five of the pumps. Just in time for Christmas, five pumps will have been installed in remote villages in the impoverished African country of Niger, which has been hit hard by poverty and drought.
A further 30 pumps will be operational towards the end of February. The installation of the last 20 pumps shall hopefully be completed during the first quarter of 2015. It has thus been just over a year from donation to implementation.
This amount of time is not unusual with development work. The majority of the pumps require a new wellhole to be sunk or for a damaged wellhole to be repaired. This is undertaken by Unicef with contributions from partners other than NCC, which means the schedule is more uncertain.
The donation in 2013 was NCC's first major joint Christmas gift from the group. The project was voted for by the employees and can be regarded as one aspect that unites the strengths of the company. One NCC and one Christmas gift. A part of NCC's work for sustainable development is also giving a gift which can really make a difference.
Niger is a landlocked African country located to the south of Libya and Algeria. Just ten per cent of the population has access to a functioning toilet, most people have to go outside when nature calls. Due to the lack of water and ignorance, few wash their hands afterwards.
Handling spreads infections which primarily affect children under five years old. Diarrhoea is therefore common and contributes to malnutrition. A good 42 per cent of children under five years old in the country are chronically undernourished.