Fair Trade Provides Safe Drinking Water
Life-saving Wells Built with Fair Trade Income
We are inspired that Fair Trade is providing life-saving health care services and clean drinking water in some of the poorest and most isolated communities in the world.
The families of the Kasinthula Cane Growers (KCG) sugar cooperative live in one of these remote rural communities. Kasinthula cooperative is in Malawi – one of the poorest nations on the African continent and in the world. Men and women and their families face the hardships of HIV/AIDS, contaminated drinking water, and high infant mortality.
In Malawi, 85% of families live in rural areas and are dependent on agriculture to survive. Sugarcane is one of the top three crops grown for sale by family farmers. The opportunity to sell their sugar crop on Fair Trade terms means better health, not only for farmers’ families and children, but for entire villages.
The Kasinthula cooperative became Fair Trade Certified in 2002 and now its farmer members sell their sugar to companies like Wholesome Sweeteners in the U.S. and Europe. This means they receive a stable, livable price for the sugarcane crop they grow and on top of that earn community development funds – all thanks to Fair Trade.
Farmers in the cooperative voted to spend the first development funds they earned to dig a drinking water well in the village of Kapasule. Before Fair Trade, villagers had to walk over a mile to a neighboring village to collect and carry back clean water to drink. Other water sources were unsanitary and caused life-threatening illnesses like cholera and dysentery. Kasinthula Cane Growers cooperative has since expanded the project and drilled ten additional drinking water wells for other local villages.
Since 2002 Kasinthula farmers have funded many vital health initiatives:
- local health clinic
- life-saving medication
- bicycle ambulances for emergencies in remote villages not accessible by motor vehicles
Kasinthula is the only sugarcane growing company working with smallholder family farmers in Malawi. Fair Trade USA’s work with the Kasinthula Cane Growers cooperative can help ensure they continue to be successful and have far-reaching positive impact in their villages.
And you can help! Click here to find a list of U.S. companies selling Fair Trade Certified sugar or here to make a tax-deductible donation to Fair Trade USA and help grow the Fair Trade network in 70 countries worldwide. Charitable donations allow Fair Trade USA, an independent nonprofit, to reach across borders and connect hardworking cooperatives like Kasinthula with life-changing opportunities for themselves and their children.