Thirsty for Change was the focus of our Lent fundraising effort. We asked you to help people to be able to access the most basic human right there is, the right to safe, clean water. We were fortunate that the Government matched your donations and you really stepped up to the mark. With Match Funding from the Department for International Development, a total of £18.6 million was raised. A truly staggering amount, showing your concern and love for those who just need a hand up.
The following is an official update from CAFOD’s International Director, giving some examples of the difference your generosity has made. In Kenya, I spoke to ladies who had spent 5 hours each day fetching water. Their gratitude for a new water supply so close to their homes was overwhelming. “Now we only walk 15 minutes each way! Thank all CAFOD supporters for us” they said. Lots done, and still lots to do, but the difference is being made and it’s all thanks to your generosity and to your prayers.
Coming just before Christmas, it certainly gives me a warm glow inside to know that thousands of people are looking forward to a better life.
During Lent 2012 CAFOD raised a record £18.6 million, as your donations for water and sanitation projects and to empower women and girls were boosted by UK government matched funding. Eighteen months on from the end of the appeal, your generosity is changing lives from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
“Water is fundamental to life,” said CAFOD’s International Director Geoff O’Donoghue. “Communities need water to drink, to stay healthy and to give to the animals they rely on to make a living.
“In the last eighteen months, we have been busy working with local organisations across Africa, Asia and Latin America, who are best placed to know the needs on the ground. Thanks to their hard work and ingenuity and your support, more of the world’s poorest people can now access clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene education.
“The amazing response to this appeal means that we have also been able to support new projects which improve people’s access to water to help grow crops and keep animals.”
Thanks to their hard work and ingenuity and your support, more of the world’s poorest people can now access clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene education.
– Geoff O’Donoghue, CAFOD
All hands on deck
A new water supply benefits the whole community and so it is often volunteers from within the community who work hardest to make it happen.
In Zimbabwe, community volunteers have helped to dig an 11km (over 6 ½ miles) trench for a water pipeline and a dam which provides much-needed water for a hospital and a school.
“If this dam dries up, the hospital and the school are going to be closed,” explained one of the village leaders working on the project. “We are coming here to do the work at the dam because we want to protect our natural resources for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.”
The riches of rain
Rainwater is free and good to drink, yet often goes to waste because it’s hard to collect effectively. In South Sudan and Bangladesh we’ve installed tanks for homes, primary schools and secondary schools which collect and store rainwater. This means that over 3,000 pupils and 78 teachers now can access clean, safe water at school.
In South Sudan, we’ve also constructed boreholes and trained community volunteers to raise awareness of good hygiene and sanitation to help prevent people needlessly falling ill.
Rain is also crucial for growing crops. In rural Afghanistan, over-grazing and chopping down bushes for firewood and animal feed damages the land. Here we are working with local women to protect and manage pasture land and rain-fed farmland, so that 165 households can use it responsibly to grow food all year round.
Access for everyone
Everyone should have access to decent sanitation, but the particular needs of disabled people can easily be overlooked when designing new facilities.
In Bangladesh, we have been supporting local organisation Action on Disability and Development to design new latrines with access for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility. They asked the people most affected for their views first and will be boosting the local economy by using local masons and carpenters to complete the work.
All around the world
These projects, and many more, will run until March 2015, improving the lives of communities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gaza, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. They are funded by money from UK supporters, matched by UK government funding.
We are also funding projects in Sri Lanka, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala from the money which supporters donated from the appeal.
UK Aid Match is an initiative that allows the UK public to have a say in how some of the government’s international aid budget is spent. The government matches, pound for pound, public donations to a charitable appeal which aims to tackle poverty in developing countries.