On World Water Day, Tuesday 22nd March, charity: water are taking to the streets of London to let the public know how they can help be part of the solution. A group of supporters will be walking through the city to raise awareness of World Water Day with a large and playful, yellow jerry can float. 

Celebrate World Water Day with charity: water
Photo: charity: water

To charity: water, the jerry can is symbolic of the world water crisis. Millions of women and girls around the world use it to haul their drinking water either held securely on their hips or balanced on top of their heads. The charity is using the can to raise awareness about the nearly one billion people who live without clean drinking water.

Celebrate World Water Day with charity: water
Photo: charity:water / @CUBBYGRAHAM

Starting from Tower Bridge, a pledge float will parade through the city, down to Westminster from 08:30 to 13.30.  In good spirits, supporters will be playing music, dancing in the street and asking people to sign The Clean Water Pledge.

Recognised by the UN, World Water Day highlights the importance of bringing fresh water to the 771 million people around the globe who currently have no access to clean and safe drinking water – that’s nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide, and 10 times the population of the UK.

Access to clean water is fundamental to the general well-being of a population. When a person has no access to clean water, they are more likely to get diseases such as dysentery, which will prevent them from staying healthy and going to school. This leaves no time for a career and zero chance to live in prosperity; sadly, it means their children are born into the same cycle of poverty and disadvantage.

Celebrate World Water Day with charity: water
Photo: charity: water / WWW.JEREMYSNELL.COM

Right now, young girls walk in the 46-degree heat to collect water from 1,000-year-old holes. charity: water has met women in Ethiopia who walk to the river before sunrise and don’t get back until after lunch. Likewise, mothers in Mali sleep next to an open water source so they can be first in line when the water refills the next morning.

However, there is a way to solve these problems and plenty of reasons to be optimistic. While the water crisis is huge, charity: water is helping to make important progress. 100% of all donations made to charity: water go to providing clean water to those in need, as a separate set of donors fund the charity’s overhead costs.

“We’re proud to raise awareness of the 771 million people who are living without clean water, right now,” says Hannah Bellamy, managing director UK, charity: water. “This is a social justice issue. Each day, millions of women and girls carry 20-litre jerry cans to collect water for their families. This chore keeps them out of school and work. And the water they collect is often dirty – causing sickness and even death. Here in London, we’re walking our own inflatable jerry can back and forth across the Thames because, for many of us, this would be where we collected water if it wasn’t piped to our homes. This World Water Day, we want people to imagine that, and to know that this is a huge problem, but unlike many that we face, it is one we know how to fix. We need focus and generosity from people, governments, and businesses to make it happen, so please do visit charitywater.org and sign our clean water pledge to show your support.”

“Every little action can make a big difference, the water crisis is solvable in our lifetime, we hope everyone will join us,” adds Bellamy.

charity: water is a nonprofit organisation bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. 100% of public donations are sent straight to the field, funding sustainable water projects in areas of greatest need and works with local partners to implement them. The organisation proves every project, using innovative technology and powerful storytelling to connect donors with their impact. Since 2006 in New York and 2017 in London, charity: water has funded 91,414 water projects around the world to help over 14.76 million people get access to clean water, hygiene, and improved sanitation.

To sign The Clean Water Pledge, click here.
Take part in World Water Day here.

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About Author

Uzma Gulbahar holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University College of London. She is particularly interested in exploring untold stories surrounding marginalised groups, identity and culture.

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