Twenty rural communities in Africa now have a constant supply of clean, disease-free water for the first time, thanks to a vending scheme from Liverpool City Council.
A year ago, the council signed a contract with vending operator Autobar to supply 500ml bottles of Thirsty Planet water to vending machines in its 15 leisure centres.
From every bottle sold, a donation of 5p goes to the charity Pump Aid, which helps impoverished people gain access to clean water and adequate sanitation. Thirsty Planet accounts for 40 per cent of vending sales in Liverpool leisure centres.
Pump Aid's water pump, nicknamed the Elephant pump, can supply 250 people with 40 litres of clean water a day and costs just £250 for materials.
The council has now reached gold status, awarded to organisations which have funded 10 or more pumps.
Paul Martin, managing director of Waterbrands, the parent company of Thirsty Planet, and Dominic Bowers, Autobar account manager, recently presented Councillor Tina Gould of Liverpool Council with certificates to mark this achievement.
Councillor Gould said: "As a Fairtrade council we take our role in making a difference to the global community very seriously and we hope others will follow our lead and support charities through the simple measure of selecting brands such as Thirsty Planet."
Thirsty Planet was launched in March 2007 and has raised more than £940,000 for Pump Aid.