child collecting water

Pictured: A child from Shibangwa village in Zambia, one of those who is benefiting from the BWCA’s partnership support programme. Image courtesy ©Just a Drop

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 adopted the Just a Drop charity in 2016 and we’ve been fundraising for them regularly since. As a part of the BWCA’s 5 for 5 Sustainability Pledge, many of our Members have been inspired by this great cause individually and become supporters in their own right, donating £17,642 of the impressive £69,116 raised by the BWCA water cooler sector in total.

Over 1000 people living in difficult conditions in Africa with no access to clean, safe water have benefited from boreholes funded directly by the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA).

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. Since then we’ve gone on to raise enough for boreholes in 4 more villages in Zambia.

With the help of BWCA funding, Just a Drop has drilled boreholes in these deserving villages and equipped each with a hand pump, enabling the communities 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 these projects, 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 one village, 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”.

Next steps

shibangwa

Picture courtesy Just a Drop

bore hole

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 boreholes that BWCA funds provide clean and safe water to every member of the community. The outcomes for all those living in these villages are clear:

  • Health improves with a reduction in the incidence of water-borne diseases
  • Women and girls 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 improve
  • The communities become more empowered through resource ownership and management and in a much better position to help themselves, rather than relying on hand-outs or aid.

shibangwa map

Donations

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.

If you are involved in a water cooler or related business please contact the BWCA to discuss how you can help support this vital work.