There's a crisis that takes the lives of millions of people every year -- lack of access to safe drinking water. Los Angeles-based pipe extruder JM Eagle has been working around the globe to ease that burden in developing nations. In late 2009, the company shipped nearly 400 miles of pipe -- worth about $2 million -- to Kenya, Uganda, Mali, Malawi, Rwanda, Ghana and Tanzania for water-related infrastructure projects. President and CEO Walter Wang also provided funding to engineer and design of the project, according to a news release from the company. The company issued the release yesterday as Wang concluded a tour of water infrastructure projects that he helped support in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. "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," Wang said. This is the latest in a string of water infrastructure projects for Walter and his wife, Shirley Wang, founder and CEO of fiberglass door maker Plastpro Inc. In 2005, 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. In 2005, JM Eagle sent more than 70 miles of pipe to Potou, Senegal, providing water to 67 villages with a population of more than 13,500 people. JM Eagle currently is working with the Millennium Villages Project, launched by Columbia University's Earth Institute in 2005, which is working to provide safer water to more than 125,000 people living in Africa. Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute, 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."
Donated pipe delivers water to rural African villages
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