Family pays tribute to 'loving husband' who helped millions access safe drinking water in Africa

Paul Searle dedicated his life to spreading the word of the gospel and helping those in need. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police/Family handout

A family have paid tribute to a “loving husband, father, son and friend to many” who dedicated his life to charity and helped millions access safe drinking water in Africa.

Paul Searle, 62, died on the M11 near Grantchester in Cambridgeshire on Wednesday 6 July.

He was driving a yellow convertible along a northbound slip road on the M11, just off from the A603, when he crashed into a wooded area.

Cambridgeshire Police received a report at about 5.20pm and emergency services attended, but Mr Searle, of Coles Lane, Oakington, died at the scene.

One of the water pumps donated in Africa. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police/Family handout

Mr Searle was a businessman who supported third world causes through the profits generated from his water cooler company.

Since 1998, AquAaid has donated in excess of £6,500,000 to some of the poorest countries in Africa. The contributions from this organisation have resulted in over a million people having access to clean water.

In a statement, Mr Searle’s family said: “Paul was a loving husband, father, son and friend to many and will be sorely missed.

“He dedicated the last 20 years of his life to both spreading the word of the gospel and helping those in need.

"As a direct result of Paul’s charitable work over 2.77 million people in Africa now have access to safe drinking water and a further 16,000 are able to support themselves and their communities through the businesses he helped create.

“We are incredibly proud of his achievements and know his legacy will continue for generations through his charity, the Africa Trust.  

“We’ll miss his booming laugh, smile and larger than life personality. He was needed in heaven but will forever be our loveable rogue.”

Mr Searle’s funeral is scheduled for 11am on Thursday 21 July, at St Andrews, Oakington.

For those that would like to make a contribution the family have requested that all donations are made to The Africa Trust.

Meanwhile officers are urging anyone who witnessed the collision or anyone with dashcam footage to get in touch.