Being able to turn on a tap and have clean water is something we would normally take for granted. Having to walk miles every day to collect water and being unable to go to school as a result is almost unbelievable, but is a daily reality for so many people around the world.
This World Water Week, 28 August – 2 September, representatives from over 130 countries will gather in Stockholm for the annual Water Week conference, to discuss ideas and develop solutions around the theme of ‘Water for Sustainable Growth’.
Yet, it is the efforts made by those at a local level that has helped to fund sustainable advances in communities that need water most. Inspired by the Pope’s environmental letter, Laudato Si’, the aid agency CAFOD launched its Make a Splash campaign earlier this year.
The people of Sheffield raised over £20,000 and thanks to people across England and Wales, the appeal raised over £3.5 million, which was matched by the UK government, to help provide 180,000 people with access to safe and clean water, 270,000 people with sustainable water supplies and to reach 334,000 people with education programmes on sanitation and hygiene, over the next three years.
The fundraising of local communities has helped families to access the basic right to water, meaning more girls will get the chance to go to school to get an education.
So, this World Water Week, while delegates in Stockholm will be planning for the future, think about how you can make a difference today. If you would like to get involved and speak up for people who cannot access clean water please visit: cafod.org.uk/speakup