STAFF from a Glasgow-based water cooler firm travelled from Blantyre in Lanarkshire to Blantyre in Malawi to see how work is helping communities thrive.

Clare Miller and James Clelland from AquAid visited the African country to see how two Christian Aid’s projects, funded by AquAid, are supporting local people.

In a country where only two in three people have access to clean water, the projects help supply safe water for families to drink.

They also, through the building of a large water storage facility, ensure farmers can water their crops even in times of drought, helping them adapt to the effects of climate change.

Farmers also now have the use of a solar powered irrigation system which improves the number of crops they can grow.

Dad-of-four James, who is a delivery driver with AquAid, said: “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to visit Africa and to see for myself how these projects have helped provide safe drinking water and help farmers become self-sufficient and grow more drought resistant crops.

The 46-year-old added: “One of the highlight for me was visiting Blantyre in Malawi as I’m from Blantyre in Scotland.

"As coach of my 10-year-old son Mathew’s football team, Blantyre Boys Club, the club arranged for me to take some gifts such as football strips with the name of the town on the front, which went down really well.

"We even had a game between local kids and the AquAid team.”

Area Account Manager Clare, from Hamilton, added: “We all had an amazing trip, one that will be with us forever.

"To see first-hand what the irrigation scheme and water pump has given to these local communities in Malawi is just amazing.

"They have a small plot of land each that they can grow vegetables to be sold and use for themselves.

"Having clean, safe water to drink and better access to water for their crops has made such a difference to them and their families."

The projects have helped more than 14,000 people to access the clean water they need to stay healthy and build better lives for themselves.

Charlotte Davies, Christian Aid Corporate Partnerships Manager, said: “Thanks to the support of AquAid customers, together we are supporting two projects in Malawi and Ethiopia over the next three years."