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Every year they donate a percentage of their profits to Oxfam and they have just presented the charity with £100,000 to take their total gift so far to £500,000.

Tomlinson’s chairman Raymond Tomlinson explained that the firm had supported Oxfam in its Ghana Wells programme since 1987 and has now provided 80 wells for the 41 villages in the Ghana region of Overseas. Previously villagers had suffered persistent health problems, caused by drinking unclean water, and diarrhoea, internal parasites and guinea worm were rife. The symptoms of guinea worm are particularly unpleasant, causing physical and psychological damage to victims. This has, however, now been virtually eradicated.

Under the programme, Oxfam provides the equipment and expertise for the wells while the villagers collect materials, dig the 12m deep wells and line them with concrete to prevent collapse in the rainy season.

In addition to well digging, the programme has focused on health education, supporting health workers who visit each community monthly, giving basic education and explaining the importance of drinking clean water.