The British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) is supporting the Just a Drop charity.
In the UK, we take clean, safe water for granted. It’s not the same everywhere. that’s where Just a Drop comes in. Just a Drop provides drinking water and sanitation to communities in developing countries.
The BWCA has chosen to support Just a Drop for the second consecutive year. In 2016, we raised funding for a borehole project in Kalungwishi village in Zambia. Thanks to the generosity of our Members, we raised all the money and were able to fund our first project. The borehole was constructed in Autumn 2016, providing clean drinking water for the village whose inhabitants previously had no access to clean, safe water. This resulted in waterborne disease striking every week.
Most people in Kalungwishi drew water from unprotected hand-dug wells or river-beds often some distance from their homes. The water was not safe and this had a massive impact on their lives.
With the help of BWCA funding, Just a Drop drilled a borehole in the village and equipped it with a hand pump, enabling the community to reach clean and safe water.
To ensure that water will be available into the future, community-elected women and men have been trained and equipped to work together to repair and manage the water systems and in addition the charity has provided hygiene education to help ensure people stay healthy.
Brendan Hanlon of Just a Drop said: “Before this project, many families had no choice but to use unsafe dirty water with a consequent high prevalence of water-borne diseases. Women and children would walk long distances to fetch water in heavy plastic drums. There was often a drain on household productivity through illness, or tending those that are ill, leading to less time to engage in more lucrative livelihood activities. Additionally, many children had less time to attend school, catapulting them into a vicious poverty cycle. Children under 5 years were most affected: in Kalungwishi, there were 4 to 5 cases of diarrhoea per week per family, because of poor quality of drinking water. Now all that has changed. Thank you, BWCA”.
Mary Kafukanya, 56 year old farmer with six children and a resident of Kalungwishi She explained how difficult life was without clean water accessible nearby and how she and her children spent valuable farming time fetching water from a well where cattle and other animals would drink. Mary is now relieved that the health of her family is not compromised and without hesitation thanked the borehole project funders for the good deed of allocating funds. Mary says: “Thanks To Just A Drop and the British Water Cooler Association, I have a healthier family”.
Picture courtesy Just a Drop
Now, in 2017, the BWCA has already made a start to raise funding for a second project, also in Zambia. The village of Shibangwa has around 175 residents. This village is around 30km from Kalungwishi, where BWCA funded its first water source. The villages currently have to travel up to 1.5km to reach water. They fetch their water from unprotected hand-dug wells (pictured) or a pond, which they know is unsafe to consume, but they have no other choice. It takes between twenty minutes and 1 hour to walk to these water sources, a journey which on average people need to do three or four trips every day on foot. Just a Drop reports that there are three or four cases of diarrhoea per week per family because of poor quality of drinking water. Water-borne diseases hit hardest at the very young and vulnerable.
Pictured: A hand-dug well which currently is one of the few sources of water supply for the village. Image courtesy ©Just a Drop
The borehole that BWCA hopes to fund will provide clean and safe water to every member of the community. The outcomes for all 175 people are clear:
- Health will improve with a reduction in the incidence of water-borne diseases
- Women and girls will have improved productivity, spending more time in education and following other productive pursuits, such as tending to their crops, improving lives into the future – and being in a position to help themselves
- Hygiene and sanitation will improve
- The community will be more empowered through resource ownership and management and in a much better position to help themselves, rather than relying on hand-outs or aid. To make this next project happen will require £9,941
The charity is called ‘Just a Drop’ because that really is all it takes to make a difference to those at risk of disease and death from unsafe water.
The charity welcomes whatever you can afford, no matter how large or small. Whether it is a one-off amount or a regular monthly contribution, you can help to save lives and improve health and well-being.
If you are a UK tax-payer, please use Gift Aid. This means that for every £1 you donate, the charity will receive an extra 25p from the Government.