International charity WaterAid does exactly what the name suggests, and has the aim of bringing safe drinking water to parts of the world where water supplies are not up to scratch. It’s one of the UK’s younger charities and was set up in 1981 after a United Nations conference highlighted the issue of unsafe water in large parts of the developing world. The charity was founded shortly after, and established its first two projects in Zambia and Sri Lanka. WaterAid grew steadily through the 1980s and 1990s, and by 2003 were working in 15 different countries. Over the years WaterAid has added many local branches across the world, and now raises money across the planet. By 2016, almost 25 million people had been helped with supplies of clean drinking water or access to proper toilet facilities.
In 2018, WaterAid are working in 28 countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Substantial progress has been made into the provision of clean drinking water and adequate toilet facilities but the problem has still a long way to go until it has been totally resolved; 2017 figures from the United Nations show that 844 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water close to home, and diarrhoea is still a major cause of death in children under the age of 5. WaterAid works with partners around the world to dig wells, provide methods of cleaning up river water and to build toilet blocks and sewer systems. The charity also has an education programme to teach people about the importance of basic hygiene with the aim of cutting deaths from diseases such as diarrhoea.
Working with local organisations and community groups gives WaterAid the ability to tailor its projects to local requirements. Residents are asked what they require from a new sanitation scheme and get involved with the design, rather than having a standard format imposed on them. There is a high emphasis on low-cost, low-tech solutions which are sustainable and which cost very little to keep running after the initial investment. Strategies such as educating local people on the risks of human waste getting into the water course have been hugely effective. WaterAid is a development charity looking at the long term prospects for communities rather than getting involved in emergency relief work in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
In terms of raising funds, WaterAid is one of the main charity partners with the Glastonbury Festival, and offers places in events such as the London Marathon for people prepared to raise funds for the cause. WaterAid is also partnered with several large corporations such as H&M, Diageo and HSBC and uses expertise from their partner organisations in overseas projects as well as encouraging fundraising by employees and large corporate donations. WaterAid don’t have shops on the high street, but do have an online platform for donors to donate towards taps or other water related products. Supporters are encouraged to set up direct debits to the charity, or volunteer to raise awareness of WaterAid’s work at various local and national events.
is a UK based charity which works exclusively in Nepal, working with vulnerable families to provide support enabling them to stay together and to provide them with a way of making an income. Hi-Cap UK was founded by Freda Casagrande in 2005, who left her career in the UK to establish an orphanage in the Pokhara are of Nepal. Hi-Cap mainly concentrates on longer term projects to get children into education in remote areas, but has also been involved in emergency response after the recent earthquake which devastated the country.