Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Water, water everywhere...

Nor never a drop to drink!

Yesterday, eight days after he started, David Walliams completed his epic swim of the River Thames in London, and by doing so he raised over £1 million for needy children throughout the world.

Swimming 140 miles in the cold water of a tidal river would take all a man’s strength, grit and determination in itself. But Mr Walliams also had to cope with the effects of heavy pollution in that water. Within twenty four hours he was suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, which must have made swimming interesting.

Thankfully, his own ability to fight infection was boosted by the best medical care. He had antibiotics and inoculations to help him cope. And he knew that when he reached Westminster his trial would be over, he could step on to Terra Firma and know that from then on, the water he would use to drink and bathe would be clean and purified.

Around the world, millions of children don’t have this get-out clause. Day in and day out, the water they drink, cook with and wash themselves in is dirty, polluted, filled with effluent. The stench rising from it is unbelievable, and the things it contains would make the Thames water seem like mineral water. Every time these children have contact with their only water supply, they gamble with their health, their futures and even their lives.

Water is the most precious thing on earth. Without it, no-one can survive. But dirty water is as bad as none at all. It does no-one good. And in the twenty first century, there’s no reason why anyone should have to deal with it.

Providing clean water is relatively cheap and easy, but the difference it can make to children in the developing world is priceless. Healthy children will grow strong. They are more able to learn. They grow into healthy adults who can work and benefit themselves, their families and their communities, thereby helping to cut the need for aid in future, and so benefiting us all. Clean water is vital to that development.

Let’s make sure they have it.

The photos show the water tower that supplies clean water to our school in Soy, Kenya.

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