Friday, 11 March 2011

Why I’ll be Walking for Water

Fleur Anderson is the International Campaign Coordinator at End Water Poverty - one of the organisation's coordinating the global World Water Day campaign 'The World Walks for Water'. Here she shares her personal reasons on why she's taking part:

The End Water Poverty HQ is buzzing with excitement as we have smashed through so many targets. First, we beat the amazing 100,000 people who formed the World's Longest Toilet Queue last year, then we doubled that! We were amazed to reach the quarter of a million mark and now it is over 270,000 people expected to take part next weekend and beyond.

You are part of something very big!

Water and sanitation are so absolutely vital to life that it is amazing that they have been such ignored issues. This year’s World Water Day looks set to make a huge difference and make water and sanitation THE issue of our time.

We will all have different reasons for walking. My inspiration is a group of young men called the Vision Brothers. They live in the Kibera slum in Kenya and formed a self-help group about 3 years ago because they wanted to ‘fight idleness’. This was a brave move in a community where 80% of young men are unemployed. They have a great team spirit and their determination to make a difference started with clearing a small area of rubbish and planting vegetables. Then they built some pit toilets and used the income from this to start selling sand. Finally they got some
sponsorship for a water connection fee, pipes and water tank and laid pipes across 2kms of Kibera and now run a water selling business and are about to expand to another kiosk and open a hardware kiosk.

Now 200 families have water much closer to their homes and there is a constant queue of women fetching water with their yellow plastic containers from the Vision Brothers water tank.

When I step back from that kiosk, there is a view across the whole Kibera area where 800,000 people live and their kiosk seems like just a drop in the ocean. Politicians should put water and sanitation right at the top of their priorities: groups like the Vision Brothers can make the small changes but governments can make the really big ones for millions of people.

So that’s why I’ll be Walking for Water. I may be walking in London physically, but in my heart I’ll be walking with the Vision Brothers and all the women of Kibera.

1 comment:

Fanuel said...

thanks guyz for the great job that your doing to the people of kibera,and the enter world.