WaterAid Peterborough

08:22 Thursday 1st March 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: How much water have you already used this morning? .. Well we are the lucky ones, because 884 million people in the world this morning do not have access to safe water. That’s roughly one in eight of the world’s population. The charity WaterAid tries to raise funds to lower that number, and it’s now setting up a branch in Peterborough. Victoria Rose is the Community Fundraising Manager for WaterAid. Good morning Victoria.
VICTORIA ROUSE: Good morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: It’s a frightening statistic, isn’t it? Things that we take for granted.
VICTORIA ROUSE: That’s true. And this morning you’ve probably used more water already than a family would have to live on in Africa. Here in the UK, we use around 200 litres of water a day. A family would need to survive on around 10 litres of water. And that’s for cooking, cleaning, washing and for drinking as well. And not only that, they’ll probably have to walk an average of two hours a day, just to find that water. Sadly, for many mothers as well, they’ll know that the water they’ve collected isn’t actually clean. And they’ll have to let their children drink it.
PAUL STAINTON: That is frightening. When your kids are suffering, and you know they’re suffering. But better to drink it than not drink it.
VICTORIA ROUSE: Absolutely. So many mothers simply don’t have a choice. They know that the water they’re giving their children isn’t clean, but there’s no alternative. And that’s what WaterAid is all about. Our main aim is to provide clean water for some of the poorest people in the world.
PAUL STAINTON: What can we do then?
VICTORIA ROUSE: Well, there’s lots of ways to get involved. And the solutions don’t have to cost the earth. It costs around £15 to help someone gain access to clean water, and also a safe place to go to the toilet. So, although the numbers are really big, and there’s a lot of people out there needing help, actually the solutions can be very simple. So we’re asking people in their local area to get involved with the new community group, which is starting up in Peterborough next week. The group will be involved in raising funds, but also in raising awareness. We want more people to be aware that 4,000 children die every day from something as simple as diarrhoea. That doesn’t need to happen, and local groups and volunteers in your area can actually help us to change that.
PAUL STAINTON: And with us of course is Graham Wild, who was so shocked by some of the stats that he created this group in Peterborough. Good morning Graham.
GRAHAM WILD: Good morning.
PAUL STAINTON: Now, what urged you to set it up?
GRAHAM WILD: Well, I’m just very disappointed that the numbers are so high, and not a lot, in the past, has been done about it. And in this day and age, with all the technology and everything, it really is a disgrace that the national governments haven’t got their act together, and made a bigger effort.
PAUL STAINTON: What can we do? You’re setting up Peterborough WaterAid. What can I do?
GRAHAM WILD: Well, as well as the fundraising aspect, to get more wells, and all the other things that we do, we can campaign to the British Government and the international governments, like the G8 and the G20, and get thousands and thousands of people to say we’re fed up with this. We want you to take some action, and set aside some money. Because they probably don’t fully realise that for every pound they don’t put in to it, they’re wasting eight pounds on lack of education and health costs. So it’s costing them money not to put the problem right.
PAUL STAINTON: Have you had lots of support from people when you said you were doing this?
GRAHAM WILD: We have, from various things that I’ve done previously, prior to setting up. Because we’re only just starting the group next Tuesday. So we’ve got about half a dozen people coming to the meeting. We’ve advertised in other situations. So yes, slowly but surely we will get people. Because they don’t have to do a lot on the fundraising side. They can have a coffee morning and sell a few cakes and whatever, and raise money that way. So lots of people doing individual little things, makes a bigger effort.
PAUL STAINTON: OK. So your inaugural meeting is when?
GRAHAM WILD: Next Tuesday evening at 6.30 at the Fox and Hounds in Longthorpe.
PAUL STAINTON: Well listen, good luck with the fundraising. And I hope people get behind it. And I hope people feel as passionately as you do. Thank you for coming in this morning. Much appreciated.