Speaker Donna Davidson
Tue 15th September 2015 at 18.30 -
We reflected at the meeting on how fortunate we are to have running water from a tap which is drinkable. A toilet comprises a pit in the ground for the poor in Africa and elsewhere and no water for hand washing. Worse still the waste sewage may contaminate drinking water. Hence diarrhoea is a major cause of infant deaths.
Donna addressed the Club on behalf of Water Aid – a worldwide charity which works with local communities to install clean water and sanitation. Our club has supported their work in Zambia. She explained the daily burden of fetching water is laid heavily upon girls and women. If drinking water can be accessed closer to the home it may free 4 hours of education time. This allows young girls to escape the poverty trap through learning. A video showed how primary school age girls walk barefoot on a 4 hour round trip each day to gather brown water. Animals share the water hole and sewage contamination is common. Water Aid funds exploratory bore holes and wells closer to local villages and teaches the women how to maintain the equipment for the long term. They also build toilets with privacy which encourages girls who would not otherwise attend a school .