OTLEY Lions have presented a cheque for £1000 to the St. Mary’s, Menston based charity, The Bambisanani Partnership, in order to complete an ambitious Water Project at Mnyakanya School situated in the remote rural area of Nkandla in South Africa.

The charity recently established mains water connection to the school which allowed children to return to school following a strict coronavirus lockdown and now aims to install ten water tanks to store water for both the school and the wider community. The scheme will also include a rain water collection, filter and storage system which will add more sustainable element to the project.

The school serves one the poorest communities in South Africa and a constant supply of clean water will have a massive impact in terms of health and wellbeing. Having clean water to drink, cook with and clean with will transform the lives of many in the area. South Africa has been particularly badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, none more so than in the remote rural areas where the infra structure simply isn’t there to cope with the situation.

Mrs Pk Zondi from Mnyakayana School said: “We are so grateful for the support for this project which has already saved lives; it will improve the quality of life for members of the school community and beyond. This project will help sustain learning at the school which in its self is life changing for so many.”

President of Otley Lions Richard Phillips presented the cheque to members of the Bambisanani Partnership team: Charlotte Wood, Catherine Chattoe, Matt Harvey and David Geldart in the Chapel at St. Mary’s where he also had the opportunity to learn more about the ground breaking work of the charity in South Africa.

David Geldart, Founder and Chairman of the Bambisanani Partnership added: “St. Mary’s School and the Bambisanani Partnership have a long history of support and kindness from Otley Lions. We are so appreciative of this very generous donation that will make a genuine difference to people’s lives in this deprived part of South Africa where ready access to clean water is by no means a given. We are delighted to be associated with Otley Lions; their genuine commitment to serving communities, both locally and internationally, is truly remarkable and inspirational. We cannot thank them enough for the support that it has given this charity.”

Richard said: “It was a pleasure to meet members of the Bambisanani team at St. Mary’s School. The work they have done since the start of the partnership is tremendous and this current endeavour is no less worthy of our support. We all take clean running water for granted but not everyone is lucky enough to have the access to it that we do.

“Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children and with the current global crisis this could not be more so. The pandemic has highlighted the value of water and its benefits to health, with 40 per cent of the global population not having access to water at home, connecting schools and communities is a way of ensuring access to this much needed resource for as many people as possible.

“Otley Lions is looking forward to continuing to support the Partnership and the work it does in the future. ”