The average Briton uses 150 litres of water a day. That’s seventy-five times more than the intake that is necessary for human existence. Men, women and children in Africa survive with less than two litres on a regular basis.
Imagine not being able to wash your hands, take a shower, or even have a drink. This is what people all over the world are living as a daily reality and if there is water available it is often dirty and unclean, this is the second biggest killer of children in the world.
Everyone has heard of Mother’s Day or Red Nose Day but very few will have heard of World Water Day, which has been running since 1992. This year, World Water Day is on March 22.
The UN has said its aim this year is to focus on the power that water and jobs have to transform people’s lives. “Nearly all jobs are related to water and those that ensure its safe delivery. But today, millions of people who work in water are often not recognised or even protected by basic labour rights.”
Hedley House members, at Truro High School, which voted for WaterAid as a charity of the year, feel that clean water should be a right that everyone has access to, no matter their race, gender, age, financial situation or country of origin. That’s why we made our decision to support WaterAid as one of our chosen charities.
Mrs Lisa van der Lem was the main motivator for WaterAid to become a charity that Truro High supports. She said: “Clean water is something that we all take for granted, but there are people around the world have virtually none. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of months in Tanzania and see how families have no access to clean water, and the colour of the water they have access to. It made me really appreciate what I have. And I feel the need to share my privilege with others.”
WaterAid is one of the main charities that deals with these issues. WaterAid was set up in 1981, and aims “to supply water, sanitation and hygiene to the poorest people on the planet.” In 2011-12 it raised £55.8 million in the UK alone. In every £1 given 78p is spent on delivering WASH services and influencing important decision makers, 21p on fundraising, and 1p on governance.
In Cornwall we have a number of local branches. The Mid-Cornwall group was set up by Alan Davis five years ago, and now has ten volunteer. So far they have managed to raise more than £1,000 per year. They have organised events such as a garden party and a curry lunch at the Kathmandu Nepalese Restaurant. Soon there will be a Pub Quiz on World Water Day.
Mr Davis said: “There’s no limit to what fund-raising events people come up with! Schools have done sponsored walks, discos, non-uniform days, and more.”
BBC School Report members want to get behind this fantastic cause. We feel that a water balloon fight that you have to pay to be part of would be a great way to have fun and raise money. If you agree with this or have any other fundraising ideas please email: email@example.com
For more information on WaterAid please go to www.wateraid.org/uk
Reported by Rosie Smart-Knight
BBC School Report