Here in the UK we sometimes take our clean drinking water for granted. The mission of the Water Dispenser and Hydration Association (WHA) is to make it easier to rehydrate, anywhere… in offices, homes, schools, restaurants, leisure centres and so on. However, the Association is very aware that millions of people around the world lack safe water supplies, which is why it has partnered with the charity Just a Drop to provide remote communities in Zambia with new boreholes to deliver fresh water.
Providing access to clean and safe drinking is one of the most important tasks for helping to create sustainable improvements in developing countries. For many years the WHA has collaborated with Just a Drop to provide villages in Zambia with clean water supplies and has recently announced its plans for 2023.
6.4 million people in Zambia currently do not have access to clean water, about 35% of the population. This can have devastating effects on people’s health, and on their ability to work, study and improve themselves, as well as causing pressure on water supplies for agriculture and wildlife.
As a result of fundraising carried out by the WHA and its members, to date Just a Drop has been able to fund the creation of six boreholes in rural Zambia, bringing fresh water to over 1200 people.
For its 2023 campaign three new boreholes are planned in the villages of Zandonda, Munkuli and Muchokocha. These communities are home to 920 people, and until recently their closest sources of clean water were many kilometres away, requiring hours a day to collect. The new boreholes will help improve the health of residents, as well as creating a garden pond that collects runoff, which can be used for vegetable gardens and livestock.
“Thanks to the generosity of our members we have been able to help make real, lasting changes to many people in Zambia,” says Jon Wicks, chair of the WHA. “The three new boreholes we hope to fund in 2023 will empower hundreds of new people to help build better lives for themselves.”
It doesn’t just help people, though. Talking about the Muchokocha project, Just a Drop’s partnership and events manager Alice Mellar explains about the positive effect on the environment. “It’s a really interesting project that not only supports the community with safe, clean water but also reduces human/wildlife conflict, playing a part in supporting elephant conservation in the area,” she explains.
“Currently, the women and girls who collect water for the village are in danger of being threatened by the elephants who use the same watering hole. The new borehole will also prevent this.”
This year’s fundraising efforts will kick off at the WHA Conference on the 15th-16th March 2023. Brendan Hanlon, Just a Drop’s head of fundraising and communications, will be in attendance to give an update on the progress to date as well as providing fundraising ideas for WHA members. This will be followed up with a charity golf day at The Oxfordshire in Thame on the 18th May
“Our members are fully aware of the importance of water to everyone on Earth,” says Jon Wicks. “By supporting the work of Just a Drop we are helping communities to create sustainable and healthy futures for themselves, and we are sure that our members will continue to support these vital projects.”