A FUNDRAISING drive has been launched in Poole to prevent hundreds of hospital patients in Zimbabwe, many of them young children, from dying every day.

Poole reverend Alan Clarredge has been working for years to ensure medicine and water purification systems are available in Zimbabwe’s rural hospitals, clinics and orphanages.

Through his Poole-based Rivers of Water charity, the reverend – of Rossmore Gospel Church – has travelled to the African nation on mercy missions, in particular to the Mpilo Central Hospital.

But the water purification system he installed at the rural hospital 12 years ago is coming to the end of its operational life – so he needs to raise £8,000 to ship out and install another one.

“After my visit earlier this year I have obtained a quote for a replacement machine that will give 200 gallons of pure water an hour and will save the lives of at least one hundred people a day,” said Rev Clarredge.

The last time he was in Zimbabwe, earlier this year, Rev Clarredge discovered the hospital’s water system was only producing 35 litres a day.

The new one he is proposing would supply 3,120 litres daily.

The reverend, who treated Zimbabwe’s first lady Sally Francesca Hayfron while working as a medical technician in Zimbabwe throughout the 1980s, explained that 200 people including young children depended on the hospital each day.

He added: “The town water supply in February was off three out of four days.

“The plant, which once supplied over 300 gallons a day, now supplies less than 22 gallons over an eight hour period, and the storage facilities cannot hold sufficient to meet the needs of these desperately sick children and adults.”

He is now asking for donations to help him install the new system, which will be shipped out in September before installation in early 2015.

If you can help visit riversof livingwater.co.uk to donate.