Walk for Water 2022

Girl collecting water, Turkana, Kenya (photo credit Girl Child Network)

Context – Water and climate change
771 million people worldwide lack access to clean water. That is 1 in 10 people on the planet. 1.7 billion people- 1 in 4- lack access to basic toilet facilities. The water crisis is a health crisis, as nearly 1 million people die every year from water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases.

The water crisis is being exacerbated by climate change, the effects of which are now a harsh reality for some of the most vulnerable communities on the planet. In the Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) lands of Kenya and Uganda, droughts are prolonged, and where they once occurred every 5-10 years, they are now occurring every 1-2 years, leaving families unable to fully recover before the next drought hits.

These droughts are often followed by severe flooding, destroying food supplies and increasing the risk of water borne diseases and acute hunger. Currently, much of east Africa is experiencing severe drought; and the devastating impact it is having in Kenya has put over 2.8 million people at risk of death from starvation, including 140,000 children.

While drought in ASAL counties is not unusual, the combination of events, climate, Covid-19 and conflict (Turkana) are extremely challenging for communities and particularly children. Children are tasked with household chores such as fetching water, which in times of drought that can reach distances of up to 30km. As a result, children, especially girls, are absent from school and miss out on vital stages of their development.

World Water Day
World Water Day is held annually on 22 March to bring attention to the importance of water, climate change and the need for sustainable management of our world’s water resources and show solidarity to those experiencing severe water vulnerability.

Water Action Month provides a platform for organisations and communities to stand together with one voice, calling for change.

We demand long term, sustainable change a world where no one is left behind, and everyone has their right to water and sanitation realised.

Girl collecting water in Turkana, Kenya (photo credit Girl Child Network)

Theme
This year’s World Water Day theme is Groundwater, one of the world’s most precious natural resources. Groundwater makes up nearly 30% of all the world’s freshwater. Groundwater plays a vital role in our environment and economies; it supports rivers, lakes, and wetlands, especially through drier months when there is little rainfall. In Africa, groundwater is the main source of water for drinking, cooking and sanitation, especially during dry seasons in rural areas. Groundwater is found deep under our feet, and therefore requires the drilling and digging of wells in order to obtain it. As the climate crisis worsens, groundwater is getting deeper; we must work together to sustainably manage it.

How to get involved?
Every year, schools across Ireland take part in the Walk for Water campaign. Over the years, thousands of students have walked for water in their communities, raising awareness of water poverty in Africa, raising vital funds for vulnerable children.

What to do?

  • Make banners and posters displaying messages and facts about water and water poverty.
  • WALK FOR WATER at a time and location that suits you – ideally in the month of March, mobilise your class, your school and community to walk 5km or 10,000 steps or any distance that you can.
  • Share our campaign on Facebook and Twitter and post and share your photos using the hashtag #AidlinkWalk4Water.
  • Join us on 22 March 2022 (11:30pm-12:15pm) for an online Water Education Seminar. We will be joined by our partners from Uganda, who will speak about groundwater and the impact of water poverty on women.

Schools participating in previous Walk for Water campaigns

For any and all support, don’t hesitate to contact us at nell@aidlink.ie

Consider a sponsored Walk for Water to support some of the poorest communities in Kenya and Uganda.

If you and your school would like to take part in Walk for Water 2022, please contact us at nell@aidlink.ie to receive your Walk for Water school pack.

If you are unable to participate in our Walk for Water Campaign, but are in a position to donate to our ongoing work supporting marginalized communities in Kenya and Uganda access safe and clean water, click the donate button below.

Man collecting water from unprotected well, Karamoja, Uganda (photo credit Voluntary Action for Development)

Newly constructed borehole in Karamoja, Uganda (photo credit Voluntary Action for Development)

Walk for Water in Karamoja, Uganda (photo credit Voluntary Action for Development)