Walter Wang, president and CEO of JM Eagle, recently concluded a tour of water infrastructure in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya being constructed with hundreds of miles of plastic water pipe his company donated as part of his ongoing efforts to aid impoverished villages in Africa.
from its plants in late 2009, the donation includes nearly 400 miles of a
variety of 2.5-inch to 6-inch pipes, worth approximately $2 million, going to
Kenya, Uganda, Mali, Malawi, Rwanda, Ghana and Tanzania. In addition to the
product donation, Wang also provided funds to aid in the engineering and design
of the project.
is the essence of life. Every human on this planet should have access to clean
water. I believe the single greatest cause of extreme poverty in developing
nations is a lack of access to this simple element," Wang said at a press
conference in Nairobi,
following the four-day tour. "We all deserve to have a future filled with
hope. Piping water to these villages, step by step, will eventually lead them
out of poverty and sickness, and show them a prosperous future. I thank God we
are so blessed to be able to do these projects."
latest donation is part of a multi-phased broader initiative, the Millennium
Villages Project, launched by Columbia
University's Earth Institute in 2005,
which ultimately will provide safer water to more than 125,000 people living in
Africa's most needy communities.
initial phase, MVP used more than 70 miles of JM Eagle's plastic pipe to bring
safe water to 67 villages and more than 13,500 people in Potou, Senegal.
The Potou project has been in operation since September 2008 with 85 active
taps now in use.
Los Angeles-based company is the world's largest manufacturer of plastic pipe,
was joined by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia
University's Earth Institute, on the
trip to remote villages in Rwanda,
Uganda and Kenya.
is at the core of economic development and human well-being," Sachs said.
"With water, there can be productive agriculture, good nutrition,
sanitation and health. Without it, there is only poverty and disease. I am
pleased to be able to travel Africa again with
my good friend Walter to see the difference our partnership is making to the
future of the continent. Thanks to the generosity of private sector leaders like
Walter, we are changing that."
toured Senegal at the
completion of the first project in February 2009, Wang's latest visit is his
second to Africa to witness first-hand the
construction progress at the Millennium Villages his donations support and,
more importantly, see the positive effect that a clean, reliable water supply
is having on the people of these villages.
first meeting with Jeff, we discussed the water crisis in Africa
at length. His passion and knowledge of Africa
captivated me," said Wang. "In learning more about the landscape, I
realized something – Africa is not entirely
water-deficient, there must be a good water source somewhere – it's
infrastructure-deficient. No matter how far it may be, it can be piped to those
One in five
people in developing countries does not have access to safe drinking water, and
2.2 million people die each year from water-borne illness, 90 percent of them
children under the age of 5, according to world-charity organizations.
his wife, Shirley Wang, founder and chief executive officer of Plastpro Inc.,
demonstrate a strong commitment to improving our global community through
generous philanthropic activities that span the world.
developing countries, the Wangs have been leading supporters of efforts to
bring clean water to communities, believing this is essential in addressing
illness and poverty. In 2005, through the Wangs' initiative, JM Eagle provided
plastic pipe and other materials to transport drinking water from a mountain
spring to a community of 5,000 people in Honduras,
and supported a project to develop water-delivery and sanitation systems for
needy communities in northern Thailand.