Tuesday, 22nd March 2016 is World Water Day. To mark the occasion, Bristol’s Water Charity and Food Connections Charity Partner, FRANK Water are Giving it Up For Water. And we want you to do the same.
Yep, that’s right. We want you to drink NOTHING but water for 7 days.
That’s no tea first thing, no mid-morning cappuccino, no diet coke breaks, no smoothies, milkshakes, lattes, herbal teas, glass of wine, pint of ale, cocktail with an umbrella in it. None of it. For 7 days.
AND (because there’s always an and!) we want YOU to join us. Get your family, friends, colleagues, club members, classmates to sign up to Give it Up For Water and encourage each through the tough times. And if the thought of giving up coffee for a week brings you out in the shakes, then do it for a day. Instead of spending out on fancy coffees, pints of lager and bottles of plonk, put the money you would have spent in a week (or a day) into a pot and donate it to FRANK Water at the end of the week. And, if you fall off the wagon, don’t despair. Pay a forfeit (£1 for every time you cave in) and get right back on it.
Why are we doing this?
Because 91 million people in India live without safe water. 1,400 children die each day from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and sanitation. According to the United Nations Development Programme, an estimated 29.8% of Indians lived below poverty line in 2009-2010. That’s 30% of the population (350 million people or 1 in 3) living on 75p a day.
FRANK Water work with the poorest and most marginalised of this 30%. People who need basic services – the most basic of which is water.
Why are those people marginalised?
There are a number of different reasons. Here’s one:
As members of a rural tribal community in Chhattisgarh, Shrimati Patel and her neighbours live so far off the beaten track that they’re almost entirely cut off from society. The villagers had never officially claimed the land they’d lived on for many years. They found it hard to completely settle, always fearing that the government would evict them from the place that they called home.
Along with her neighbours, Shrimati Patel is discouraged from mixing with people from higher castes. But in order to drink and cook with safe water, they had no choice but to walk the 5km to the nearest town to fetch water from a privately owned well. Eventually, social pressure from other townspeople meant the owner of the well banned the tribal women from using his water and they were left literally high and dry. They survived by using river water that was often contaminated by livestock, waste and washing.
Today, the community has claimed its rights to the land they live on. The village has its own well. Families have safe water to drink and children are healthier. Women and children no longer have to walk into town to get water but can go out to work and attend school instead.
Give it up for Water is about two things. First, it’s about raising funds to continue this work (Thanks to FRANK Water and its supporters, 300,000 people in 200 villages now have safe water and sanitation). Secondly, it’s about raising awareness of the global water crisis and what we can do to redress the balance.
And if you’re wondering what all this has got to do with food, try cooking rice without water. Or pasta. Or growing tomatoes, or potatoes, or beans. Try finding any food that doesn’t need water to grow or produce. Trust us, you won’t. Food and water go hand in hand so it makes sense that Bristol’s Water Charity, FRANK Water is named as official charity partner to the city’s Food Connections festival for the second year running.
On World Water Day, Give it up for Water. Sign up today!