WaterAid – Water Quality Month
Turning the tap on and filling a glass with water that you can drink with no concerns that it will make you ill is something that we take for granted in this country. But sadly, for so many across the rest of the world, this isn’t the case (1 in 10 (771 million) people globally don’t have clean water close to home).
I was privileged to visit Zambia with WaterAid in February 2012 to see real life examples of how it works with communities to improve access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. We saw some things that were difficult to take in – women collecting water from streams that were dirty and girls missing school because there isn’t a toilet for them to use when they have their period. But we also saw some amazing changes – for example, sustainable drinking water boreholes, toilets at schools, and communities that were fully engaged in the maintenance and upkeep of these facilities.
One thing that stays in my memory was talking to a lady in a village that now had access to mains fed drinking water. She told me that she was so happy that she could taste chlorine in her water, as it meant that she could drink and cook with it safely and give it to her children to drink – knowing that it wouldn’t make them ill anymore. That really made me look at our access to drinking water with a fresh perspective!
WaterAid’s work does literally change people’s lives for the better. It is determined that clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene should be a normal part of daily life for everyone, everywhere.
Diana Freeman, Anglian Water’s WaterAid Representative