Help team Waveney alleviate water poverty in Africa

Help team Waveney alleviate water poverty in Africa

Day 1 – 30 July 2018

We set off nice and early, 8am, to avoid the warmer temperatures, however we had rain instead. Which was fine. Everyone did really well. There was some good chatter about how life is for those that have to collect water everyday. Reality hit when we got to the collection point and they all realised the weight of carrying any useful quantity of water.

Day 2 – 31 July 2018

Thunder and heavy rain!!!! But that did not deter us, we left a little later than planned. The rain stopped and the sky became bluer and welcoming again. Katie and her girls joined us today. We discussed more ideas relating to the issues of water and sanitation.

I realised that I used 5 litres of water washing up this morning, that would have been all that Henry and Oak carried, gone just on that one chore. We all had cups of tea, squash and water when we got back and it felt poignant, that we could just turn on the tap to provide this refreshment.

Day 3 – 1 August 2018

Day three complete and the sun was shining for us today. I think that we are all beginning to appreciate exactly, what is involved for those having to travel any distance to collect water. More so, for those walking to collect from surface water. We are also looking and considering more the amount we are using at home, and thinking could we use less?

I was speaking to my mum, she said when they were renovating a house, living in a caravan and having to fill a jerrycan for water use, it made her use water more sparingly. I think this is telling, because she wouldn’t have had to go far to fill it up. It shows the inconvenience of the time and effort it takes to do that task.

Day 4 – 2 August 2018

The hottest day so far and we were seeking shade and a few rests. There is a sense of determination to finish the challenge. We are all aware that there is only one day left for us to do but that only makes the reality of water poverty more stark. We can stop this but there are hundreds of millions of people who have not got that luxury.

I am incredibly proud of the children who are doing this without protesting or being grumpy – well maybe just a little bit from the youngest but he has lost his walking buddy who has heading off on a Czech adventure.

Day 5 – 3 August 2018

We have completed our week of walking! Do you know, it has been a very worthwhile challenge. When telling people about it, it doesn’t sound much. A mile walk. A three mile walk. Wow. What is special about that? When you factor in the half way point when the weight of water is introduced it gets to be more interesting. When you factor in the getting up each day when it’s the holidays it becomes more of a challenge. The experience has opened our eyes, generated interesting conversations and helped us relate the existence of others to our own. For the younger members of the group it has also become a social thing, which has been fabulous to witness. Our children’s social lives are often out of sight, at school, via social media or trips into town at the weekend etc. So having a shared activity each day this week with our children and their friends has been a rare treat.

Despite having found some positives about our personal challenge we have also been acutely aware of the reality of the water issue. The moment we return from our walks we have had drinks all at the turn of a tap. We have been able to shower and freshen ours. We feel the privilege but also positive that there is impetus and desire around the world to improve the situation for those that don’t yet have access to clean, safe water.

263 million people spent over 30 minutes per round trip to collect water from an improved water source (figures by the UN for 2017).
Some spending up to 6 hours every day collecting water.
159 million people only had access to surface water, ie water coming directly from a river, dam, pond, stream etc.