Recently my Facebook feed has been full of people doing the Icebucket challenge. In case you need reminding, this campaign started in the USA and went ‘viral’. It reached Ireland in late August where the compere on the ‘Rose of Tralee’ festival did the challenge on TV. It then bounced back and over friends and family in Ireland, so it was not long before I found myself nominated. I wanted to join in but I was concerned about the amount of water being used worldwide on the challenge. I am aware that we are very fortunate to have a good supply of clean drinking water, something they don’t have in many places. So, I resolved to do the challenge but in a ‘sustainable’ way and support the charity WaterAid which works to improve access to water and sanitation for people around the world.
WaterAid have a campaign ‘To be a Girl’ which particularly focuses on the impact that lack of water and sanitation has on the lives of young girls. One story was about Rihanata, a teenage girl who goes three times a day to fetch water for her large family. The impact of this is that she is often late for school and misses the opportunity to learn. Her young life is taken up with the job of fetching and carrying water.
I saw how other WaterAid supporters had approached the challenge in their own way and resolved to do the same. It’s easy to support the ‘to be a girl’ campaign. To give £5 Text ‘GIRLS” to 70500 (if you are in the UK). If you give before 9th September, the UK Government will double the donation. It’s not only supporting girls, its for whole communities.
So, I ‘harvested’ water and took the challenge, then nominated friends. I will post the video but it seems that the main point was in thinking about the value of water in our lives and what we take for granted. I also really appreciate the work of the many engineers worldwide working to bring safe water and sanitation and making a huge difference. Water, where would we be without it?
Matt Damon raises some very interesting points here.
And finally, a few words from me.