WATER OF LIFE: At its third annual open meeting, Belford Mothers’ Union welcomed Sue Nuttall from Water Aid to speak about that organisation’s activities to members and visitors alike.
Sue explained that the work of Water Aid has just a very singular focus – water.
It’s about transforming lives through access to a potable water supply, safe sanitation and ensuring that there’s an understanding of hygiene. One in eight people in the world live without safe water and in developing countries individuals survive on just 10 litres a day – compared with our 200.
A child dies every 20 seconds from diarrhoea. And women walk 10km a day for water, carrying weights that can lead to curvature of the spine and difficult childbirth. Women and girls are often unable to take education opportunities, because they are collecting the family’s water for the day.
Originally formed by some UK water companies, Water Aid is now a charity in its own right. In total, 21 million people have been helped in 27 countries where Water Aid has engaged with local people on the ground, ensuring ownership of the means of provision safe water and adequate sanitation.
And there is a constant need for funding. Sue herself has climbed several Munros collecting sponsorship for Water Aid and plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro later this year to support the cause. Rev John Beckwith thanked Sue for her excellent presentation. It was ironic that people in the south and east of England had a hosepipe ban imposed just the day after her talk.