Kelowna Charitable Foundation pours out message of hope on World Water Day
Local Charity Rally4Life are delighted to be able to come alongside UBCO students to bring awareness to water issues facing the world as part of the UN World Water Week activities. To kick off the week UBCO will be holding opening ceremonies in the UBCO courtyard on Tuesday March 20th 12-1:30pm. The opening ceremonies will consist of art installations, musical performances, food vendors and guest speakers all of which promise to be interesting and informative and Rally4Life will be there with a fun interactive booth.
This year the UN has chosen the theme to be Water and Food Security, which is something Jackie Jennings-Bates, Rally4Life founder witnessed first hand when she travelled to the Horn of Africa to implement a hand well project.
As Jackie explains, “The majority of the people of the Samburu region of Northern Kenya where our project was based walk up to 20km per day to fetch water. As they are traditionally nomadic pastoralists they depend on their herds of livestock as a food source. During the droughts many animals died putting vast numbers of people at risk However at sites where wells had been introduced, and irrigation was possible, agricultural initiatives were under way which diversified the food available and greatly improved their lives. The safe water source also led to enormous health benefits, a boost to the economy and gave the children time to go to school instead of fetching water”
Safe water is our most essential need. 894 million people (1 in 6) do not have access to safe water. Source: World Health Organization (WHO) .Today 2.5 billion people, including almost one billion children, live without even basic sanitation. Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year, more than all wars combined and 90% are children under 5 years old. Source: Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
On average women and children travel 10-15 kilometers per day collecting water from dirty ponds and dried up river beds, carrying up to 20 kilos or 15 litres per trip (the average North American uses 400 liters per day).
At the UBC Water Week event Rally4Life want to give visitors a chance to experience what it is like to be faced with carrying your water supply. We are planning to challenge the students to a water carrying race, to demonstrate the true nature of the challenge people face in the developing world. Participants will be genuinely shocked by the weight. However the problems are not insurmountable. In the Samburu a 40ft well with a simple hand pump can provide safe water for up to 1,000 people at a cost of aproximately $12,000 and literally transforms people’s lives. For more information visit www.rally4life.org
The Flight4Life team currently attempting a world record powered paragliding attempt to fly around Australia to raise funds for Rally4Life will also be thinking about World Water Day. After having survived the terrible floods in New South Wales they will now be heading into the notorious Nullaboor desert and. They have produced a special World Water Day message for the UBCO event and you can find the message and follow their adventure at TheFlight4Life.com
Plus UBCO are hosting a variety of other fascinating events, for more information visit www.ubc.ca/okanagan