We have teamed up with the wonderful Village Water charity, and we have been raising money to put wells into villages. Village Water has since 2003 reached more than 180,000 people in Zambia. Village Water puts wells into villages, and then provides hygiene education and sanitation training so that everyone benefits from having safe water in their village. The results have been remarkable: Since 2015 diarrhoea has dropped by 88%, and girls’ absenteeism from primary school has dropped by 55%. Imagine that! Simply through providing regular access to clean and safe water, the heath of a village improves and more girls gets educated. Not only that, but eye and skin infections reduce and parents need to spend less time caring for their kids, and more time farming and providing for their families.
So, who would not want to get behind a cause that helps make people healthier, more productive, and better educated? Well we wanted to help out too. Our sport of rowing is totally dependent on water, and most of us in the rowing world have easy access to good water. So we came up with a slogan #OnWaterForWater and started raising money for Village Water. So far we have raised $50,000 for them and we want to do more. In our first expedition in 2011 we also helped put a well in place.
The appropriately named, and awesome Olympian, Debbie Flood, is leading a campaign to get rowing clubs in the UK to each raise £100 for our #OnWaterForWater campaign. Our Oxford and Cambridge rowers from The Boat Race, are also challenging their clubs and contacts to get behind the campaign. More money => more wells => more water => more health=> more education=> more prosperity. What’s not to like about that?!
We will finish our expedition along the Kafue River at the site of the new Kafue River and Rowing Centre. The KRRC is an alliance between World Rowing and WWF and will create a multi purpose water management research centre and rowing facility.