Just a Drop Helpers Bring Aid to 'Lost' Villages
Just a Drop engineering and medical volunteers have fought their way through floods, overcome rough and dangerous, swamp-ridden terrain and resorted to all manner of transport - from horseback to boat and light plane.
All to bring clean water and sanitation to communities living in some of the most remote places of the world.
"The work of the water-aid charity this year could never have happened without the support, goodwill and funding by the international travel and tourism industry", said Fiona Jeffery, chairman and founder of Just a Drop.
In July, for example, with support from the operator Hayes & Jarvis, part of the TUI Travel group of companies, a party set out for two villages at Lake Roja Aguada where children are becoming ill and dying because of the effects of dirty water. Four wells are being installed there by the charity.
The party was led by Col. John Blashford-Snell, Just a Drop's president. He said: "Extensive flooding caused by the recent 'surazo' that swept in from Patagonia blocked all movement by vehicles north of Santa Ana and the expedition and most of the equipment and stores had to fly in light planes to Coquinal.
"A horse mounted medical team led by British Army dentist, Major Alex Jess set out separately with their stores carried in a wooden wheeled
cart, pulled by four bullocks!"
Fiona Jeffery added that the charity was becoming known for its work in areas where many other organisations are unable to reach.
"Eight projects have been funded so far this year by Just a Drop, with three projects for Zambia, two projects in Tanzania as well as activity in Ecuador, Afghanistan and, of course Bolivia, "she said. "All have installed boreholes, pipelines, toilets or latrines for children and their families desperate for our help."
Hayes & Jarvis Director, Clare Tobin commented "The sustainable supply of water underpins economic growth, food and energy security. The most effective way to meet the needs of future generations is to educate them about water. Water is the next carbon. We must focus on the scarcity of water in the same way as we are focusing on our carbon footprint. In my view global economic pressures and climate change will mean that before long we will all need to measure our water footprint".
Jeffery said that there were still many projects that the Trustees reluctantly had to turn down because of lack of funding. She is hopeful that World Travel Market in November at ExCeL London is successful in raising further funds by exhibitors and visitors.
In addition to Bolivia, Just a Drop has also helped:
- Zambia Western Province - four village boreholes
- Tanzania Ughandi - two hand pumps installed at new boreholes
- Tanzania Ughandi Mhuvi School - construction of 20 pit latrines sponsored by The Doras Trust
- Ecuador, Chikianenentza and Sinangoe Villages - provision of clean water supply
- Zambia Kalonda School - ten new toilets and restoration of ten existing toilets
- Afghanistan Safed Chihr - provision of water and waster disposal system, in partnership with Afghanistan Mother and Child Rescue, sponsored by the Guild of Travel & Tourism
- Zambia, Bowood Community School - water and sanitation project
In 11 years, Just a Drop has helped more than a million people in 28 countries.
Hayes & Jarvis plots a journey to a better future worldwide with Just A Drop Campaign
In an escalation of its long-standing relationship with the clean water charity Just a Drop1, Hayes & Jarvis has announced a new project-based support campaign which aims to deliver water to those who most need it in places around the world where the dual impact of climate change and the global recession is hitting hardest.
While making a substantial donation itself to ensure that the project targets can be met, Hayes & Jarvis is focusing the campaign on a regular series of fund-raising days and activities, led by its staff and with resulting moneys being matched by the company.
Championed by Clare Tobin, Managing Director of TUI Travel's UK Specialist long haul brands which include Hayes & Jarvis, the first project to be supported is the creation of a water system with two new wells and hand pumps in a remote area of northern Bolivia, regularly blighted by severe disease-spreading floods.
The Just a Drop project will benefit 260 people living in the village of Nueva Esperanza (New Hope), which lies in the tropical fresh water lake area of Rojoaguado. Nearly half of these are children, who are likely to be the main victims of a lack of access to clean water because of their vulnerability to water-borne diseases such as dysentery and cholera2.
The Bolivian project is the first of several that Hayes & Jarvis intends to support over the coming year, with the central aim of helping to provide the clean water that will offer children living in remote communities a better chance of a healthy future.
Stressing that the cornerstones of the campaign are water, children and education, Clare Tobin said: "Teaching children about water sanitation and hygiene can quite literally save their lives. The sustainable supply of water underpins economic growth, poverty reduction, food and energy security."
The most effective way to meet the needs of future generations is to educate them about water. We must focus on the scarcity of water in the same way as we are focusing on carbon – water is the next carbon. It is my view that before long we will all need to measure our 'water footprint'.
"Having just launched our first programme to Latin America, our interest in the region has been heightened and we chose to support the Bolivian project first because this is a way to offer a real economic benefit to a local community that urgently needs help. The dual consequence of the global recession and climate change negatively impacting on weather patterns will make access to clean water and the economic situation there even more difficult – making it crucially important for us to act responsibly and help."
The first fund-raising day was held on 29th July at Hayes & Jarvis’ headquarters in the Atrium, Crawley in order to launch the campaign. It raised a total of £913 through staff donations and the raffle of an All Inclusive five-night beach holiday in Costa Rica, one of the new Latin America destinations just introduced by Hayes & Jarvis in its Worldwide Collection brochure.
For further information on Just a Drop please visit: http://www.justadrop.org
1Just a Drop was founded in 1998 by Fiona Jeffery, Chairman of World Travel Market, to support water, health and sanitation projects around the world. To date, the charity has helped over 900,000 children and their families in 28 countries.
21.8 million children die every year – one every 17 seconds and water is the biggest killer of children under the age of five. Just £1 can deliver fresh water to a child for nearly 10 years.