This March, WaterAid are challenging the public to go the distance and increase the distance they walk every day of the month, in solidarity with the 785 million people in the world, who have no access to clean water close to home.
Money raised through March for Water will go towards helping communities get clean water for the first time, opening up a world of possibility.
Tim Wainwright, WaterAid’s Chief Executive, said:
“Safe water is a human right that everyone, everywhere should enjoy. Every day around the world, millions of people have no choice but to walk long distances to collect water. Women and children bear most of the burden, often walking up to 16km several times a day. That time could be spent in school getting an education or working to make a decent living. By stepping up, raising money and marching in solidarity this March, we can help transform lives for good”.
Bibata Ouedraogo lives in the village of Basbedo in Central Burkina Faso. In the past life was very difficult.
The nearest borehole was four kilometres away, but during the rainy season the roads to the village were impassable, so villagers were forced to collect dirty water from the riverbed instead – which was still a two kilometre walk away.
This all changed a couple of years ago when WaterAid and the community in Basbedo came together and a borehole was installed. Bibata and her family no longer have to walk long distances for water or risk their health by drinking dirty water from the riverbed. They can drink clean water, cook with it, and wash their clothes and dishes quickly and easily. They have time to put into their farm, which means they can earn more. Their children can go to school instead of making long exhausting journeys several times a day for water.
“We wanted to do many things but the difficult access to water didn’t allow us to do most of them. Since water arrived, it helped us in many ways. Now we do small-trade, we farm, we raise livestock and all these are sources of income for us.”
To help unite people behind this common cause, each person who signs up and donates at least £1 will get exclusive March for Water blue laces, which can be worn as a celebration of participation and support.
The charity has created a bespoke online hub, allowing participants to create their own fundraising pages; be awarded virtual badges when they meet their goals, record their walks and link distance tracker app Strava to their page to make things even easier.
Whether supporters are taking on the challenge solo or in a group, they will not be walking alone – but part of a community making steps to transform lives.
Sign up at https://marchforwater.wateraid.org.